I left this morning hoping that I wouldn’t miss anything today; there were a few schools who had indicated that they would try to be in touch by today, and my wife and I were taking our oldest son to a follow-up visit with his developmental pediatrician. I took my cell phone to make calls back home to check the voicemail and my new PDA (my graduation present, a Palm TX – okay, it’s new to me) in case we could get to someplace that would have free WiFi for me to check my voicemail. (And apparently, not all McDonald’s offer free WiFi – what a ripoff.)

That was mostly useless: no calls, no E-mails. So I’m left this weekend to wonder about callbacks for second interviews with two schools and about whether or not the third will consider offering me that position. I hate being left up in the air, but I guess that’s just how things go sometimes.

But there was a consolation prize of sorts: a box had come to my parents’ house with my name on it that was marked from amazon.com. My mother assumed it was from my uncle (who has been in the habit of buying gifts from Amazon for family), but it was actually a gift (I am guessing) from my former, soon-to-be-current coworkers. And a fitting gift it is: a copy of the New Oxford American Dictionary, 2nd edition, the principal editor of which was Erin McKean (yes, this Erin McKean). (It’s fitting because I had the habit of finding out etymological facts or having “word moments” and sharing that with my coworkers, which earned me the nickname “Mr. Dictionary.”) I’m not excessively fond of dictionaries (although I am rather partial to the OED), but this dictionary is beautiful.

And perhaps the best part was the note:

Congrats! I hope this is big enough to properly beat people over the head with.

Of course, if I were a stingy old prescriptivist, I would probably beat the author over the head with this sizable volume for breaking two of the most uptight grammatical “rules” ever (No Split Infinitives and No Terminating Prepositions), but I’m not, so I’ll let it slide. It’s a nice gesture, anyway, and maybe it’ll help keep my mind off the waiting. (Probably not, but hey, a guy can hope.)

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