Friday, October 8, 2010

My Interview at Fallingwater

On Thursday, October 7th I had the extreme pleasure of interviewing for the position of Curator of Education at Fallingwater. For those who don''t know Fallingwater is Frank Lloyd Wright's masterpiece, an architectural innovation that combines the beauty of a natural waterfall with the incredible design of this American master. This was, for me, a position of prestige and I was very excited about the opportunity to interview for this position.

When I got confirmation of the interview, I was instructed to arrive 15 minutes early as I had to check in at the front gate, park and walk the long gravel path past the house and up the hill to the offices, which were located in the guest house. As I drove through the beautiful Laurel Highlands to get to Fallingwater, my head was filled with thoughts about the interview and how much I would enjoy the rest of my day exploring this area of western Pennsylvania and taking pictures. I had brought my camera, my tripod and my trusted corgi companion Kippie with me this day. It was going to be great!

Somewhere in my immersion of what the day was about to offer, I lost some time and and realized that I was actually a little behind schedule. My heart rate started to climb as I came to the conclusion that I would simply have to make time and I will admit that the drive became a little hairy as I exceeded the speed limit while going up and down some very steep grades and twisting through broad curves and sharp bends. I arrived at Fallingwater just about the time my interview was set to start. I checked in quickly, got directions and speed walked to the administrative offices. The interviewers were very kind as I explained my tardiness and worked to catch my breath. They joked that getting to the interview was one of the challenges they rather enjoyed watching position candidates overcome. I laughed out loud while I panicked within.

So, here I was, sitting in an office at the historic Fallingwater and about to sell myself and all I have to offer to this prestigious landmark and their educational programs. I was a good candidate for this position. I was ready for this interview. I could feel the importance of this place. I was entranced by the beauty of the location. I was also a little nervous! I don't know if it was the adrenaline from the rush to get there or the sense of being overwhelmed by the place, but I was nervous.

One of the side effects of my nervousness is that I become a little chatty. I sometimes use this to my advantage as chatty can also be made to look like confidence. Things were going well, I thought, and then I was asked a fateful question.

Interviewer: "What is it that you, as Curator of Education, would be able to bring to Fallingwater?"

Easy question....I thought to myself. "My love of corgis..." Wait! Did I actually just say that out loud? Oh God, I did...I could tell by the look of surprise of the interviewers' faces. This was a real turning point in the interview, I surmised, and in my busy little mind I plotted a strategy to deal with this slip of the tongue. I had a corgi in the van, in fact, and could provide proof if I felt my back was in a corner.

"Yes. I love corgis and I'm proud of it." I continued...confidence being the pervasive strategy. 

Interviewer: "Yes, we saw the corgis on your web page in various costumes and arrangements."

Oh God, I thought again. Wait...this could actually work. I rolled with it and continued through the interview. I did pretty well I think and now will just have to wait to see if they offer my the position. 

As I continued on with the rest of my day, my faithful companion Kippie by my side, I re-hashed the interview over in my head. There were so many other directions I could have taken the conversation. Corgis, heh....I was either an incredible idiot or and incredible genius. For now, I vote genius...corgi genius.

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