I had just received a private tour of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and seen treasures like B.F. Skinner’s famous Teaching Machine, but as I sat in a curator’s office and looked out over the National Mall, all I could think about was my dissertation.
With a big deadline looming, I was angry at myself for taking a whole three hours away from my writing. I had asked to meet with the curator because I had applied for a postdoctoral fellowship at the museum, but the whole thing felt like an exercise in futility. After all, I hadn’t heard anything back from the 60 other applications I’d sent out. Why would this one end any differently? Read more.