Before reading this you might want to find a chair and sit down, for the magnitude of what I am about to relay to you is so shocking that you might actually pass out from the sheer intensity of it (assuming you are of exceptionally weak constitution or prone to random bouts of fainting).
So today it is official. After spending the bulk of my life in school, I have signed all the necessary paperwork, and can announce to the world that I have a job. A real job!
My shiny new position comes with a title as well. Specifically, I am no longer just a Doctor of Statistics, now I am also an
Assistant Professor of Statistics.
My new home is in the School of Computer Sciences at the University of Guelph. It comes with a newly constructed/painted office1 (in the former Axelrod but now refurbished and newly minted Alexander building; rooms 101 and 102 to be exact), and a lab to fill with young minds that I might shape and such. I know, I’m shocked too that someone would entrust the shaping of young minds to me, but hey, it’s an awesome job and one that I gladly accept.
I also get to purchase some fancy-pants new computers. It will come as no surprise to anyone that I plan to purchase Macs. When I know what I’m getting, I’ll be sure to blog about them :) [Update: Clearly I wrote this ages ago, as we are all aware that I’ve already purchases said shiny new computers – as documented here]
The position officially started on January 1, 2011, however there were some paperwork issues, and as such I haven’t been able to sign the contract until now. Regardless, I’m stoked. I’ve already started teaching two courses: Math2080 – Calculus for the Biological Sciences, and IBIO6070 – Advanced Methods in Population Modelling. The former I’ve taught twice before. The latter is a course of my making. I’ve actually been surprised at how well the latter course has been received. At this point, I’ve had to turn students away so as not to overload myself in my first semester. Crazy stuff!
Anyway, now I need to figure out what to do with myself given that I am gainfully employed. I have a good idea what my research goals will be, but I still have to fill in a bunch of details to get from where I am to where I want to be. A little overwhelming to think about all at once, but also very exciting.
In other news, I’m still not accustomed to stating my degree/profession when queried about my employment status. Take for example the following two situations.
Situation the first: Shortly after getting my Ph.D., my phone rang. Someone was calling to get a reference for one of my former students. The conversation began something like this:
- person calling: Could I speak with Dr. Gillis, please?
- me (to person calling): Who?
- me (internally): Oh wait, that’s me.
- me (to person calling): Oh wait, that’s me.
Situation the second: Everyone will recall the recent introduction of my face to the floor through the matchmaker that is yoga. While I was at the hospital getting my face repaired (or improved if you are to ask Rick), I was asked my profession by the attending nurse. I actually giggled to myself before saying it aloud, and even when I did, it sounded hilarious. So much so, that the attending nurse had to ask numerous times. I think the professor part of assistant professor threw her (but to be fair, she also needed me to spell statistics, so maybe she had just never heard of the profession before).
Anyway this is guaranteed to be an adventure of a lifetime, and to say that I am stoked is a gross understatement.
1 Of course, the furniture leaves something to be desired, but hopefully my CFI grant will cover the cost of fancy new furniture like things (assuming of course I get the grant).