What I Was Thinking While You Were Speaking

In the lead-up to yesterday's departmental meeting:

You said: I've got a project that I think will be good for the new kid. It will help them get a grip on what the department's about

I thought: You have no recollection of what the first term was like. And you're being lazy and trying to justify it.

At yesterday's departmental meeting:

You said: I've signed us up for a great opportunity that a few programs with similar ideals have begun to experiment.

I thought: Why do you write checks my workload is going to have to cash? Odds are you'll bail out of this great project 20 seconds after you finish your sentence, and half of my next term will be spent trying to honor your commitment.

In office hours with a former student:

You said: You know, I hated your method class, but it has been so useful.

I thought: Yes! Yes, I told you so! Now if only you'd tell this year's students or put it in writing.

On the phone with a study-abroad coordinator from another country:

You said: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me. I really want this to work for your student.

I thought: Thank YOU for calling me. I wish I could get our study abroad folks to return my calls or to help our students. And wow, if we wind up in a global monoculture, I hope we all wind up with your accent.


4 Responses to “What I Was Thinking While You Were Speaking”
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Maggie said...

This is hilarious, of course, but especially the first one. No one should give any "new kid" a "project." Being a new kis IS the project, for the first year anyway, let alone the first semester. Good grief!

September 16, 2008 at 1:42 PM
Dr. Curmudgeon said...

One of the things I knew I was going to have to do this year was to run interference for our new hire the way it was ran for me when I got here.

They were a bit more understanding with me, initially, because I was still writing the dissertation, but the tendency is there to pass the buck down to the new kid (and to be fair, it isn't just my department: passing the buck to the new guys seems to be a way of life here).

September 16, 2008 at 7:40 PM
Dr. Crazy said...

If I were you I would have said exactly what you were thinking to the former student. With a laugh, of course, but it also lets them know that you appreciate that they told you as well as to get the word out. Ain't nothing wrong with asking students to promote the worth of your classes a bit, I say :)

September 16, 2008 at 9:08 PM
Dr. Curmudgeon said...

I should get better at things like that; I do try to make sure to let my chair and other department members know whenever something like that happens (which seems to be much more frequently since I made the leap to Facebook, though it isn't only those students). It just feels a little weird to me, particularly with students who have graduated, as was the case this time.

September 20, 2008 at 6:02 PM