Our new administration has been doing things to encourage a sense of community among the faculty and staff. The memos have the usual corporatese about team-building and ownership, but several of things they've done have, in my opinion, really improved the culture 'round here.On the plus side, we have three or four Friday afternoon events rather like the "wine and cheese talks" tradition at Fermilab: there's snacks (including wine and cheese); some standing around chatting while attempting the cocktail-party trick of balancing your comestibles, gesturing, eating and talking with only two hands and one mouth; and after a bit someone gives a "TED-style" talk aimed at a broad academic audience about what they've been up to. It's fun in a "good day at work" sort of way.And the budget (numbers and process) have been pulled out of the shadows and made accessible to the faculty and staff.And there is now a semiannual news letter highlighting the successes and milestones of the faculty.But, just a couple of weeks ago I got the memo saying that they want (i.e. demand) all faculty to come in for two whole days in the week before classes start instead of just showing up for the traditional half-day of getting-on-the-same-page meetings at the university, college, and departmental levels. The memo doesn't say what we're going to be doing with all that time.The graphic is perfect for my reaction.
And this is one of the reasons the school year is getting longer and longer. Because whatever you used to do during those two days, you're now going to be doing during two days in the week preceding (or even before that). Same goes, in reverse, for all of the end-of-year assessment activities.
No thank you, I do not want to be oriented.
Here, have a compass. And a map. And an entire freakin' GPS SatNav Gadget-palooza on your smartphone.Oriented enough? Right, off into the Ocean/Continental Interior with you then, and we'll get on with class prep/research writing/pre-emptive drinking, napping and grousing.---Grumpy Academic---
I will NOT participate in the trust fall session.
I hated that kind of stuff, which frequently I mostly encountered in high school, and not too much since. I'd already lived through some fairly difficult stuff by that time in my life, and didn't need to prove that I could overcome challenges, do things I found difficult, etc. (and I've also got the sort of nervous system that doesn't need a lot of extra stimulation, so I've never sought out adrenaline-boosting activities). Trust may also have been an issue, but falling backward doesn't really do much for that (in present circumstances, however, even the slightest sign of standing up to a dean under pressure does).
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