Must be making progress

I must be making progress.

The job offer negotiation is on, and it started off from a reasonable position.

I feared getting a low offer for less money than I am making now. I know I would have dealt with that if it had come, but I also know that my spirits would have taken a hit if that had happened. Last year’s incident was more than enough of that for one life-time.

Good news. The offer is for more than I’m making now or would be next year, but not overly generous. I know where I want to be on this negotiation so I said, “I’d like to open at this higher amount.” I got some hemming and hawing and referred to talk to someone else, but it wasn’t a “no way,” and it was respectful. They have some reasons. I have some reasons. All I want to do is meet at a good spot in the middle. I think — I hope — we’ve got a good chance of making that happen.

Money can’t buy happiness, but it can make you awfully comfortable while you’re being miserable — Clare Boothe Luce

Meanwhile the sort-of-kind-of good cop/bad cop routine (in which both players at the school — dean and department chair — are playing both roles) amused me.

I have some more questions to ask about this whole deal. But that’s how this works. You ask questions, you get answers, you ask more. You negotiate. You revisit and refine for a little while.

And one more small victory.

I had a student come by today to do some linear algebra. Over spring break! This is one I sought to put the fear of god into last week on Thursday, and apparently I succeeded. A low score was obtained on an exam. A high score was obtained on a homework. Dr. Jinx wonders how this happened and called a bunch of students in to demonstrate that they do, in fact, know how to do a homework problem. Several succeeded. This one did not. Bad juju. I gave him a zero on the homework problem, and the lecture about how if you put the time into understanding the material, the exam scores would follow right along with it.

I don’t like being the bad cop, but I’m betting that at the end of the semester, having come to terms with this material, this young man is going to be happier with himself than if he scraped by or had to drop out. There is something immensely satisfying about conquering a demon that’s scaring you. I think he can do it. We worked on linear independence and linearly independent functions. He knew more when he left than when he arrived. Success.

I hope I can do what I need to do too. I can walk around the world one step at a time. Watch me.