It's odd in a way: I feel relief now that the rejection letters are starting to trickle in. It's not that I'm happy about the rejection. It's that 1) silence for me is the worst torture; and 2) once I have the letters in hand, I can a) feel relieved that I didn't get hired by such a doltish department if the letter is callous or dull (as ProfessorMe's mom would say, I should be pleased for the things I don't want that I don't get); or b) satisfied that I was considered but determined not to be the best fit for their program. In any case, I can move on.
Here an excerpt from the latest letter from the flagship campus of a large state university:
... Thank you for your interest in applying for one of our open faculty positions. Unfortunately, you were not one of the applicants whose materials were chosen for our finalist list.
We received many highly qualified applications for our search, and you were one of those applicants. I wish you success in your efforts to obtain a faculty position in the near future.
Well, that's nice enough. You always wonder, do they say the same to all of the applicants? I mean, not everyone is equally qualified. Do they really believe what they say? Are they sincere in wishing me success in landing a faculty post?
But then, it doesn't really matter, does it? I believe I'm highly qualified. I believe I am worthy of a faculty post, worthy to stand up before a lecture hall full of eager freshman, and a seminar room sparcely populated by graduate students. I know I have interesting questions to pose, enlightening methods of addressing them, and illuminating answers to present. I just have to have the patience and the perseverance to make it through these trials, to find that proper fit. It will come. I do believe.