A. When on the job market, it is more fun to attend the meeting with interviews scheduled than without. This was my first time attending with an interview scheduled. It was also the first time I didn't want to gouge my eyes out. Coincidence? I think not.
B. It is more fun to attend the meeting when off the market than when on.
C. When off the market, it is more fun to not attend the meeting than to attend.
D. I spoke to one of the people running the placement service. She told me that 428 people signed up to use the service. She also told me that in a typical year over 600 people sign up to use the service. She told me this was the worst year she could remember.
E. A senior member of my Ph.D.-granting department who first went on the market in the middle 70s told me that he had never seen such a terrible job market. We had a very small number of candidates who managed to get any interviews at all, and several departments much higher than us in the PGR didn't do much better.
F. I didn't stay at the conference hotel. I stayed with a friend a half-hour subway ride away. This was less convenient, but not so much so that it would have been worth $130 a night or whatever. It seems to me that this is the way to go.
G. However, I took the time to ride the elevator up to the 45th floor and back. Totally awesome.
H. I honestly do not see the point of holding interviews at the APA. It's expensive for everyone involved, including interviewing departments, but is expensive in a particularly unfair way to the applicants. Although interviewing in person feels better than the alternatives, I don't see any reason to think it's better in a way that makes up for its obvious drawbacks. I propose phone/skype interviews or bringing more people in for campus visits.
I. I had a nice time talking to my interviewers at the smoker. It was a pretty weird interaction, though. I tried to find a time when they weren't talking to anyone else, and it didn't work at all. There were always at least two other people chatting with them. Plus, I'm nonchalantly walking past their table every 20 minutes or so, not making eye contact, checking to see if they're available. Or else I'm standing with my back to them a few yards away, chatting with a friend who's facing them, asking if they're still occupied every few minutes or so. Highly weird. I ended up joining a larger group than I was comfortable with. It worked out okay, though. I think.
J. I have no idea how my interview went. I've spent the time since trying not to think about it.
K. Some schools who had already rejected me were accepting on-site requests for interviews, so I thought about reapplying. This called to mind a key scene from A Few Good Men: "I apply!" "Rejected." "No, no. I strenuously apply." "Oh, well maybe I should take some time to reconsider."