Wednesday, February 14, 2007

MLA, bye bye

Paul Guest writes to finish off his tale of the MLA job search process.

Which reminds me of something I’d forgotten about:

While at MLA, on a little tour through the tension, I was listening to my mp3 player and the song "That's Life" as sung by Frank Sinatra, came on. I was walking toward the bookfair at the time, through the vast convention center, nearly empty but for the stragglers, looking like they were looking for something. I was passing a woman taking pictures of attendees and I had this vision of all of MLA, of the great overwashed hoards of us attending fruitlessly, rising up with a shout. Some sort of Flannery O’Connor, broken multitudes in the midst of a revelation, thing.

The show tune to end all show tunes. The great MLA theme song. So here it is, if you haven’t heard it, go someplace and get it. It’s glorious and it’s priceless. And it goes out to all of us. Take it away Frank:

That's life, that's what all the people say.
You're riding high in April,
Shot down in May
But I know I'm gonna change that tune,
When I'm back on top, back on top in June.

I said that's life, and as funny as it may seem
Some people get their kicks,
Stompin' on a dream
But I don't let it, let it get me down,
'Cause this fine ol' world it keeps spinning around

I've been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate,
A poet, a pawn and a king.
I've been up and down and over and out
And I know one thing:
Each time I find myself, flat on my face,
I pick myself up and get back in the race.

That's life
I tell ya, I can't deny it,
I thought of quitting baby,
But my heart just ain't gonna buy it.
And if I didn't think it was worth one single try,
I'd jump right on a big bird and then I'd fly

I've been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate,
A poet, a pawn and a king.
I've been up and down and over and out
And I know one thing:
Each time I find myself laying flat on my face,
I just pick myself up and get back in the race

That's life
That's life and I can't deny it
Many times I thought of cutting out
But my heart won't buy it
But if there's nothing shakin' come this here july
I'm gonna roll myself up in a big ball and die
My, My


At 2/14/2007 7:50 AM, Blogger Penultimatina said...

Good theme song indeed!

Nothing ever came of the MLA interviews I did. I especially disliked the ones that were held in that big conference room. All of the campus interviews I got came from phone interviews. I'm not sure what that says about me as a candidate.

It sure was nice going to NYC and San Diego, though. I like AWP much more than MLA, however.

At 2/14/2007 8:59 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Oh yes. Very different theme song for AWP. Hmm. Give me a minute. How about "It's a Small World, After All?"

See you in a couple weeks. Unless you'd rather I just call, that is. Awfully hard to sign a book that way . . .

At 2/14/2007 10:13 AM, Blogger Andrew Shields said...

MLA 1994: 23 applications, no interviews. Why was I there?

At 2/14/2007 11:01 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Hmm, good question. To fester, maybe?

Because you already bought the airline ticket (as I did in 1999 with no interviews)?

To make fun of the haircuts?

T be reminded of the prom? (Ouch, best not to in any way remember the prom.)

At 2/14/2007 3:22 PM, Blogger Suzanne said...

I *heart* Frank Sinatra. I'm going to put his CD on right now.

At 2/14/2007 4:41 PM, Blogger C. Dale said...

I am totally playing Sinatra when I get home.

At 2/15/2007 5:05 AM, Blogger Andrew Shields said...

I think I was there because of the airline tickets. I had a nice time hanging out with friends in San Diego.


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