It has been a month since Catherine left Bloomington. She never thought about leaving the town but circumstances; break-up with Jackie and losing her job put her in a difficult position.
At first, she did not give up, she resisted. She started searching for teaching positions at nearby colleges but her reputation followed her everywhere. Not a single college administration was willing to hire her due to already spread rumors.
She was not interested in working as a therapist and she especially did not want to work as a counsellor in a high school because rumors will definitely follow her there too. There were no other options for her. Bloomington is not a megalopolis. Her choices were limited.
Spending more than a year in search of a job and perspective for her life, she decided to leave the town. All this time she was living with the money she inherited from her parents. She was lucky enough to have this option but she could not imagine herself living like this any longer.
After deciding to leave the town, she faced difficulty of choosing. She did not know where to go. It was easier for her to decide when she graduated from Stanford. She had a house in Bloomington and there were colleges nearby the city, so there was a destination. However, it was different now. There were many cities and choosing one was not easy. She was sure about two things: First, she needs to leave Bloomington. Secondly, she should stay away from California, hence Jackie.
Although she and Jackie made a friendly closure, Catherine knew that going back together was out of question. Besides, Jackie's career progressed enough and probably paparazzi were around her all the time. This kind of life was not for Catherine.
She contacted a few of her college friends letting them know she is looking for a job in other cities. She also emailed her professors from Stanford asking for their assistance. She was lucky; Professor Hecht gave her a great recommendation letter after he asked for her resignation.
After a few weeks she made the radical decision, an old professor from Stanford contacted her informing about a vacant teaching position at NYU.
She was hesitant at first. Sure, she decided to move to another city but moving from Bloomington to New York was like dropping a fish from fish-tank into the ocean.
After thinking whole day, she decided to apply. It is not as she is going to move immediately. She still needs to get a job offer. Until that time, there might be other opportunities too.
Almost a month later Dr. John Walters, Dean of Psychology Department at NYU, contacted her. He asked casual questions like "Why do you want to join NYU?", "Do you want to continue on teaching or is it a temporary occupation until you find something else?", "In case you are hired, what will be your contributions to the institution?" etc. She managed all the questions well, until interviewer asked: "What was the reason for you to leave your previous employer?"
After applying for the job, Catherine thought repeatedly about how she will respond to this question if there will be an interview. This was a standard question asked during an interview. Therefore, she knew they would ask her about this issue. Although she had a ready answer to that, she stuttered. While answering she realized that they could call her previous employer before calling her and became terrified. She said: "I had a house in Bloomington and after graduation, I decided to return back. Since there were colleges around the city, I was sure there would be a job for me. After teaching a few years, I realized that the university is not the place where I can use my capacity fully and after some time, I was bored and decided to quit in order to find another job. It was later I realized that one should find another job before quitting the old one".
Dr. Walters noted that many academicians applied for the position but they chose a dozen candidates among others and Catherine was one them. He noted that Catherine's latest research on reversal of self-denial impressed him a lot and he thinks there will be enough support for her to continue her researches at NYU.
After ending phone interview, Catherine smiled at how her research played a role on her life. How many great memories are linked to that research? If she will get the job, this will be one, another will be library where she and Jackie... No! No more Jackie, Catherine thought to herself. The life must go on but this time without Jackie. Now it was only her.
After a few weeks, Catherine still did not have any feedback from NYU and there were no other opportunities in the job market. She started to feel anxious, she started going crazy. She cannot tolerate unemployment anymore. She even thought about calling Hecht and begging him for a job. It all ended, when she received a call from NYU. They invited her to New York for an interview.
She had a panel interview with the department head and a few other notable professors of the department. She briefed them about what kind of classes she is willing to teach and how she is going to design those courses so the students would be encouraged to participate in the class. After presenting her vision about her potential career in NYU, one of the professors thanked her for being well prepared and organized. She even complemented Catherine's enthusiasm and motivation.
Catherine reached her house in Bloomington in the late evening. She texted her dog sitter informing she will take Ethan in the morning. She was so tired that she decided to go to bed without eating anything.
After having a breakfast and bringing back Ethan home, she checked her email box and saw an email from NYU. Holding her breath, she opened the email and saw an attached job offer document. She smiled and threw herself on the nearby couch.