Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Monday was a long day

That's yesterday. Perhaps it only seemed long because there were so many parts of it, and there was unexpected stress in certain areas.

What went right?

My morning class: the first of my juniors brought in her play to read and it was a success. Yes, ripe for revision, but the first iteration was charming, well-structured, and complete. All good. The feedback session showed a little too many teeth, but we'll fix that.

My grant-writing students. All got their papers in, with my rec letters included, and we're moving on to the next stage of the project: getting them money.

My directing of the student staged reading. A meaty, thoughtful, lively session with my cast. Thank goodness this is flowing because I have had little to no time to make it happen. But the response of the students is fan-tab-u-lous. Although my playwright needs to cut and insert more action: the plot stops because she is so very wordy.

My grading: for once! My non-majors are writing articulate, thoughtful papers that impress the hell out of me and spell carefully. Wow! After semesters of struggling with majors who fight issues like grammar and spelling like it was Beelzebub, a roomful of students who do it, even if they don't get it, is a pleasure and a surprising delight.

What went, well, sideways?

Surprisingly, the formerly smooth work of the search committee I am on. In our last meeting, we ran into what I consider to be an extremely confusing and BIG elephant in the room. Not completely unexpected, but still: wow! Whu-huh-ow!

This generated further response, and might continue to do so. Anything that generates "more" drama or trips a series of responses just steals time and energy from the big ball of "everything else" that's ongoing.

I am consistently surprised by the fact that academics are just as emotional and non-verbal about territory. In fact more so, because there is such little cash or land involved. Salaries are relatively low, power or prestige ditto (especially in such an anti-intellectual culture as our own), and where we should be collegial or at least "do no harm," so many people can't resist being petty. It's not even about intellectual property or a difference of research/scholarly point of view, which might explain it.

Anothing thing that went right? I stood up for my ethical position in an articulate way. Or at least my questions about the ethics. I know it is quite likely that these questions will be brushed aside, like they were yesterday (don't worry your pretty little head!), but...

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