something in the comments here tendered by EC1 the other day. I thought, what if I were to do something similar at my normal day job? Ever the experimentalist, I decided to test the hypothesis that I could find something to "like" in every interaction with another person(s) on any given day. If my hypothesis is not refuted, then I could consider moving to phase 2. Some of yesterday's phase 1 results are below.
To the students: I like the effort that you put into self-organizing to completely blow off three classes' worth of material while studying for the exam. I like how I can be so optimistic that you'll repeat the feat by teaching each other that material while cramming for the national qualifier, for which I shall like you a second time.
To the committee chair: I like the efficiency you have brought to this committee's meetings through cutting off the many voices save those of you and your toadies, which has undoubtedly trimmed several whole minutes from the discussion. I like that your approach has empowered many members to attend to other priorities during the meeting times, the result of which is that the meeting must adjourn for lack of a quorum if just one member leaves early -- more time savings! I like how this results in many items remaining on the agenda for up to six consecutive meetings, which affords the committee ample time to research the issues and craft well-considered motions, so that you may call for the vote with no discussion when your toadies move and second the opposite.
To my colleague: I like the way you feel so free to confide in me regarding your recent purchases, your brother's family, what's for dinner, etc. I like the soap-operaesque nature of these updates, e.g. the truth-is-stranger-than-fiction shenanigans of your nephew. I like how I am so included in your family's life that I almost feel like a member myself. I like that you spare me the awkwardness of making you feel awkward, if I should blush, gasp, snicker or sigh at the wrong time, by not telling me these things face-to-face but through the door of the restroom across the hall from my office. I like the way the slowdown of the WiFi while you are in there encourages me to get some actual paper paperwork done.
To the dean: I like how, in our meeting with others at your level, you made sure that I was "brought up to speed" on the situation because as you said, "we'll be here all afternoon if Hep doesn't understand this." I like that your subsequent exposition was well worth the ten minutes you took for it, and that you incorporated several words that were not in the email I'd sent you. I like the way your direct quotes from that email modeled good scholarship. I also like how you have helped me to be more empathetic by affording me the chance to, in some small way, experience mansplaining from another perspective.