Thursday, July 31, 2008

Return from Vacation: A Dirge, With Variations

I return from vacation to find that:

The Phillies are back in first place. Didn't you know the Mets had to crumble? (Note: in many years, to reverse the team names in this sentence would be an accurate rendition of the state of Baseball Nation.)

It's stinko hot, as it often is in the East in July, and I have a zucchini as big as a (fill in the blank) in my garden, and far bigger than some.

I have 85 emails, after deleting the ones telling me that Zenith is going to elminate my email account unless I send my password immediately.

In my absence, and in the middle of the night, someone tried to steal the copper down spouting from the Castle, only to be foiled because New President or one of his family members heard suspicious noises. Apparently, Zenith maintenance wants to replace the damaged down spouts with PVC pipe , but they can talk to the historical commission about that one, baby.

I am determined to retool my golf skills so that there is at least one sport I can do with my teenage nephew. It was supposed to be tennis, but my orthopaedic surgeon has banned me from running, twisting, pounding and turning on hard surfaces. And yet, I used to be a formidable golfer in my youth (it's true), and although it is an embarrassing skill for a Radical to have, I think I can revive it for the sake of a sports-smitten boy.

There is still three weeks before I have to turn to schooling the young. Make the most of it, all of you.

Monday, July 28, 2008

What Do You Do, Dear? The Radical Announces a Series of Posts on the Upcoming Job Season

A message from the home security company, received this morning on my cell phone, reminded me of what I know too well: my vacation in the North Woods of Minnesota will be over on Wednesday. They also reminded me that I had forgotten to reset my fire alarm, which is a significantly better message than "Oh, your alarm went off and no one was home, so the fire department broke down the door to investigate." And despite my best efforts to leave the blogosphere to its own devices until I return, this brush with the real world caused a post to begin to form in my head.

So today I present the first in a series of posts about the upcoming Job Season. It will be a "how to" if you will, intended for those of you who are chairing a search, applying for jobs, interviewing (from both sides), and all stages up to and including making -- and responding to -- the offer. I will also want to take some time to speak to and about the overlooked -- candidates who, despite their best efforts, are left at the end of the job season looking for a visiting post and wondering why their best wasn't good enough. What I hope is that these posts, and the conversation they generate in the comments section, will act to put a lot of us in conversation about the hiring process, expose us to each others' practices, and make the system more accessible for job seekers.

So let's begin. You have been asked to chair a search -- I've done three so far, and am about to embark on my fourth. I've probably been on about seven or eight search committees, and watched other chairs do their work. What are you responsible for?

The ethical conduct of the search committee.To the best of my knowledge there is no book or article that describes the horrific things that many job candidates have been exposed to during the process, although those stories are readily available in the blogosphere and in conversations with colleagues. But ethical conduct includes a number of categories we will elaborate on later in this series. It includes creating an ad that says, as specifically as possible, what qualities the right candidate should have, or stating explicitly when the field and qualifications are open. It includes public notification if the search is canceled. It includes the search committee coming to some internal agreement as to how candidates will be evaluated, both in the reading of their dossiers and in the interviewing process. And it includes being explicit with your committee about what kinds of conduct are and are not appropriate, both internal to the committee, in committee members' communications with others in the department and in interactions with the candidates.

Making sure that the search process is compatible with university regulations and with the guidelines of your professional association. What will be tricky is if these two standards are not compatible with each other -- which they might not be, for reasons that are not in the least sinister. But now is the time to find out. For example, I discovered last year that in anthropology, by decree of the American Anthropological Association (AAA), it is standard practice not to ask for letters of recommendation until the committee has decided the candidate is of interest. This strikes me as eminently sensible and humane, and yet it is not standard practice in most other fields, and our practices at Zenith tend towards giving the letters of recommendation equal weight with the other materials in the decisions that lead to the preliminary interview. So this was something that needed to be reconciled early on in the search, prior to the ad placement, so that all candidates (we were searching with several departments) had similar dossiers.

Creating, and managing, a timetable for the search. Every member of your committee deserves to know before school starts when they will be expected to get their reading done, around when the meetings to pick semifinalists and finalists will be, and what weeks the interviews will occur in. This information allows them to figure out how they will accomplish the other things they need to do this year without the search putting undue burden on them, their families or their students. Furthermore, it is not unlikely that members of the committee will be contacted by colleagues elsewhere about when decisions will be made, and they should be able to respond to such questions. As chair, you will receive anxious emails from candidates about the search timetable -- how much better to be able to tell them in their first message from you, the response that acknowledges that the application itself has been safely received and is under consideration, when they might hear from you again? Which leads us to our last item for today:

Communicating with the candidates in a timely and responsible way. Given the state of the job market, there is very little that is more important than this, as far as I can tell. First of all, dear reader, you would be shocked at how many job applications go entirely unacknowledged -- no note that it has been received, no note informing candidates who did not receive an offer who was hired. Nada. More commonly, general wisdom on searches is that you don't communicate in any way with the candidate pool until you have made an offer and the offer is accepted -- probably some time in March or April. I think this is wrong. I think that a search committee should meet twice before selecting semi-finalists, and the first meeting should be to weed out candidates that you wouldn't hire under any circumstances, and let them know. That should still leave you with a sufficiently large pool (in 20th century United States history,probably 100 people or more) so that even if you needed to go back into the pool for some reason, you can. Then, after semi-finalists are chosen, write to everyone else and tell them that they are not semi-finalists at this time. Worst case scenario, you have to go back to them and say, "Actually, our idea about this hire has shifted, and we would like to interview you after all." Same with the semi-finalist pool: let them know they are not finalists. And you know what? If someone came to me late in the process and said, "Guess what? We do want to bring you to campus after all!" why wouldn't I be pleased about that? Particularly if I had the pleasure of saying, "Gee, it's too late -- I've accepted another offer. But good luck to you!" That would be one for the scrap books.

Next Week: Writing And Placing the Advertisement.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Vacation -- And Not A Minute Too Soon, If You Ask Me

You would think this Radical did nothing but vacation: not so. For the past two weeks, since my return from History Camp, I have been involved in the most intense negotiations of the most delicate kind. And they were successful. So if I had not already planned a vacation, I would take one.

La famille Radicale is going here, to this beautiful place, where we have been many times before. We are visiting people who take the most exquisite care of us by alternately giving us things to eat, chatting in intelligent and genial ways, and ignoring us completely so we can wander off to read and nap.

Here's the radical part: I am not taking my computer. Though they have several computers there, so I can blog from vacation, and I am -- well, taking my thumb drive, just in case I should be left alone with a computer for an hour or so......Happy July, everyone. I'll be home by payday.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

As It Turns Out, This Year's Campaign Is Not Going To Be Revolutionary After All

One of the things that is great about being on the Zenith faculty is that my students (and I use this term broadly, since I teach relatively few of them) can always be counted on to be amusing. Well-behaved, not so much, but I don't care about that most of the time, and don't even really value it (as anyone who knows me or follows this blog could testify.) But amusing is essential. Among their habits is providing a helpful public service. They sift through the gunk that proliferates on the internet to come up with the funniest things -- things that will lift our spirits; things to provide blog content over the weekend when we faculty should really be writing for those stuffy folks who publish words on paper. And my students provide this service at no charge whatsoever - whereas they are charged for everything they get from me through annual payments of almost $45K. I find this remarkably generous of them, don't you?

See the latest contribution, via internet content producer Jib Jab:

Hat tip.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Bodies That Matter:* When the Scholar Becomes the Text

I admit it. Every once in a while I go on a Facebook binge. What triggered it the other night I truly do not recall, but I sent friend requests to former students of mine with whom I had worked closely, as well as one student I never taught, but know pretty well because we had a fellowship at a Zenith Humanities Center and we are both now bloggers. I added a colleague from the Economics department who I've always liked for her dry wit (what was she doing with a Facebook page? What am *I* doing with a Facebook page?) and it was only after I clicked the Friend request that I thought, "Aw -- what if she doesn't actually think of me as a friend? I mean, I think I was on the Executive committee when she was chair of the faculty, but committees do not friendships make." She friended me back. Phew.

Then I started looking for colleagues outside Zenith. After a bit, I typed "Judith Butler" (who I have met, but do not really know) into the search engine.

Oh my god. In the first five pages I came up with nine Facebook sites dedicated to Judith Butler the philosopher (as opposed to Judith Butler of Leeds, England; Judith A. Butler of Wilmington, DE; or the Judith Butler who has posted a photo of her corgi as a profile picture, which is the kind of thing Marjorie Garber might do, but Judith Butler would not.)

There's the Free Judith Butler page. It claims to have Michel Foucault as one of its "friends," and states that "it's time to free her eminence Judith Butler from intempestive, systematic and unappropriate quotations, misunderstanding and misinterpreting discourses. let's set Judith free. now." (Sic.) There's one called Judith Butler Come To Our School that has only seven members and is somewhat neglected: my sense is that it is devoted only to the desire -- well, that Judith Butler pay them a visit. Or go teach them. Or something. But you know, come up with an honorarium and an invitation, and she probably would.

These are the more benign ones. The pages start to "cross the line," as my students would say (the full quote, in an exasperated voice, is, "But Professor Radical, where does it cross the line??") with a fan site, simply called Judith Butler, as if it were in fact her page, where one fan has written on the Wall, "I am amazed by the fresh and relevant theory of this amazing individual!!!" and another, from Chile, "Excelente página, con textos no solamente de Judith Butler." Then there is Judith Butler is My Homegirl, with 1,340 members, that seems to be a place where people go to link other websites and blogs devoted to -- you guessed it, Judith Butler -- and is also a kind of virtual hangout for genderqueer folk inspired by the early work of (sigh) Judith Butler. But whatever.

Slightly more offensive is Lovers of Judith Butler United: The Judith Butler Appreciation Society, the title of which implies that these people (all 51 of them) are Dr. Butler's ex-lovers. Or current lovers. But in fact, they are actually just "people who know that Judith Butler is the most amazing academic to grace the face of this earth. Anyone who thinks she talks a lot of shit in a stupid style can bog off because they are clearly just thick." I think these people are also British, given the slang. "Additionally," the site managers go on, "this society is for anyone that loves Jude's hairstyle and believes that she is the epitomy (sic!) of the subversive perfomer."

And then there are two more that I am not linking to because the titles are so hostile.

One thing that this odd phenomenon -- making a celebrity of a scholar so that you can trash her for being a celebrity -- caused me to think about was if anyone has written about 'zines as a kind of cultural prelude to blogging and social networking sites. Butler is the only academic I have ever known who has also been the subject of a satirical fanzine; because of this and the Facebook sites, she may become the first academic to be written about -- academically -- as a pop cultural phenomenon as well as a knowledge producer (although I bet Stanley Fish is right in line, and in the conclusion to his most recent book, Walter Benn Michaels has written about himself in the third person as if he were already a cultural phenomenon.) About fifteen years ago there was an undergraduate from the University of Iowa who went under the moniker "Miss Spentyouth." She published several issues of a xeroxed fanzine called Judy! that were reproduced and recirculated everywhere, much as one now links to other blogs, or quotes from them on one's own blog. At the time I thought Judy! was extremely funny, in part because I thought feminist literary theory was really important, but also often really absurd in its claims, vocabulary and syntax. Scholars would go into rooms, listen to utter gobbledygook written by the lowest graduate student to the fullest professor, and then walk out, having understood very little but looking anxiously at each other and saying "Wow, I wish I were that smart." So that's the cultural critique I thought Judy! was, as they say, performing.

As I understand it from a second or third-hand account that percolated through the Differences crowd (which leads me to believe it was true, since Butler was, and is, well-published there), Professor Butler did not think Judy! was funny at all. There was a little kerfuffle about it between issues I and II of the fanzine in a now defunct (probably because it was so hip) publication called Lingua Franca, in which Butler rebuked Miss Spentyouth and was rebuked in turn by others who accused her of not having a sense of humor. There was the panel I attended where Butler snapped at an anonymous graduate student, "Don't call me Judy!" (note: don't.) But as I indicated above, what was missed by all its critics was that the 'zine wasn't really about Butler at all: it was about the way poststructural theory and cults of personality had saturated the world of feminist intellectuals, and English studies in particular. So it could have been called Michel! or Jacques! and the same point would have been made.

And in retrospect, I suppose the issue at stake for many feminists, and I suspect Butler herself, was that it wasn't any of these men who were being lampooned, now was it?

But I actually think these Facebook pages take it to a whole new level, whether they are intentionally nasty or not. In part that is because they are so easy to put up, they distribute themselves via Google in a way no 'zine author could distribute her work, and they don't require the kind of attention to composition or actual wit that a 'zine relies on to persuade others to reproduce and distribute it spontaneously. Because of negative experiences I have had on the web (and this is only one example) they disturb even me, and I am disturbed by very little on the internet -- not even the e-mails I get from the conservative online newsletter Human Events that say things like "The Recession May Be Good for You" and "Secret Plan Behind Obama Move to the Right." And they bother me, I guess, because the last time I looked, Judith Butler was a real person (perhaps the point my acquaintances on Differences were making years ago) and not some phony symbol who makes herself available for trashing like Brangelina or Brittany by generating publicity for every private moment. The down side, or acceptable collateral damage, of this chosen life in public is that we all know every time a pound is gained or lost, a baby (or two) born, and a DWI traffic stop occurs. And while we academics who blog enter into a pact with the internet devils that means we may fall victim to a public trashing at a moment's notice, all Butler does is write, teach, publish and occupy the cutting edge of her field. And yet somehow she has become the object of ressentiment on a grand scale, undoubtedly because of the effect of the job market (particularly in English studies, where her work has been so influential) on the nerves of highly educated graduate students and adjuncts who are simultaneously over- and underemployed.

But what I think is even stranger, in a more abstract way, is when someone who studies culture becomes culture. In other words, if "Judith Butler" can be reproduced so easily, and her image and reputation bent to whatever iconoclastic purpose a given individual chooses (to draw on the work of Judith Butler, not to mention Walter Benjamin) -- is there really a "Judith Butler"?


*with apologies to the author for rampant theft of a classic title. Unless "the author" is actually dead. The author was dead, but since I haven't kept up with my reading in philosophy or literary theory, I don't know if the author is still dead.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

G-L-O-R-I-A! Gloria!

Have you ever wondered why the books on the sidebar widget, Tenured Radical Is Reading, stay up so long? No, it's not because moving my lips while I read is so tiring. It's because I am reading other things at the same time. Keeping three or four books going simultaneously is one of the few advantages of ADD.

Anyway, when I was at at history camp a few weeks back, about six or seven people asked me if I had read Amy Erdman Farrell's fabulous book Yours in Sisterhood: Ms. Magazine and the Promise of Popular Feminism (Durham: University of North Carolina Press, 1998). And after a while I just said yes -- why? Because a) Amy was actually at history camp, and I was afraid she would find out; and b) it was clear by the third time I said "no" that I should have read it ten years ago when it first came out; that it was a problem that could be easily corrected when no one was looking; and that having not read it portrayed me (falsely) as a profoundly ignorant person.

OK -- so I just finished reading Yours In Sisterhood. And you should read it too if you haven't, if only because you will teach second wave feminism better -- whether in a whole course or in a single lecture -- if you do. By focusing on Ms., Farrell is able to address the apparent "fragmentation" of feminism in the 1970's as an effect of its success; as well as an effect of the difficulty of creating a distinctively "feminist" media presence in a patriarchal commercial environment. Farrell helped me, in particular, figure out why it might be OK to jettison all the labels that describe different strands of the movement in the 1970's, and look instead at what people did on the ground, as opposed to what they claimed as their theory or ideology. As she shows, not only did multiple feminist constituencies discover "feminisms" that were useful to them, they were able to debate them with each other -- and with dominant voices in the movement, in the pages of Ms. As Farrell shows, the magazine became an arena for conflict, as well as for imaginative identification, among feminists -- and she does it without being too heavy-handed with her theoretical framework (this is a compliment that becomes significant later in the post.)

But why the Patty Smith headline? (Yeah Baby, just hit play while you read the rest of the post):

Because on p. 125 Farrell reproduces an utterly priceless quote from a Gloria Steinem interview, in which Gloria trashes academic feminists who were, Farrell tells us, sending all kinds of irrelevant articles in over the transom that no one wanted to read, much less edit into colloquial English. As Steinem said to journalist Cynthia Gorney of Mother Jones in 1995:

Nobody cares about [feminist scholars.] That's careerism. These poor women in academia have to talk this silly language that nobody can understand in order to be accepted, they think. If I read the word "problematize" one more time I'm going to vomit....But I recognize the fact that we have this ridiculous system of tenure, that the whole thrust of academia is one that values education, in my opinion, in inverse ration to its usefulness.

So think of that the next time you want to use the word problematize, friends. Or the next time someone suggests to your women's studies program that you might want to invite Gloria Steinem to campus to get an honorary degree or be a distinguished speaker.

Crossposted at Cliopatria

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Saturday Queer Blogging

Some of you cat blog, I queer blog. So here goes.

For you social scientists and political activists, there is a non-profit called IssueLab: this month their CloseUp is on LGBTQ youth. IssueLab is a free online archive of nongovernmental, nonprofit, and University research on all sorts of social issues. You might find it useful when looking for research on almost any subject. This months CloseUp includes articles from nonprofits like GLSEN, Advocates for Youth, and Youth in Focus. (Hat Tip to Vanessa Beck who seems to be getting the word out about this valuable resource through blogs and websites like this one.)

Historians can also benefit from the many emails I receive from Karen Krahulik, of the Committee on Lesbian and Gay History (an American Historical Association Affiliate that, the last time I looked, was moving to change its name to be more inclusive, but either that decision isn't final yet or the website hasn't been updated. But if you are bi or trans, don't be freaked out -- it's in the works.) Karen wrote on May 19, 2008 that:

"Rainbow History’s site now includes ten new pdf documents of the gay left in the 1970s, including issues of Come Out Fighting, Red Flag, and Gay Left. Also online are two Lavender & Red Union readers. The documents can be accessed from this site. All recently added archival documents are listed on the home page."

Karen has also notified us that GLAD has developed a series of historical podcasts; this page will also link you to a blog page where readers are invited to share their memories of the senior prom. (Mary, puh-leese!)

And by the way, you can get emails from Karen too if you join the CLGH. It only costs $5.00 if you are a student, and you can be a lifetime member for only $150.00! What a steal!

And now for something completely different.

If you are in the mood for a little queer procrastination, go take this test to see how you would rate as a husband or wife in the 1930's. Since I wrote a book about the 1930's, and we seem to be entering a major re(de)pression, I couldn't resist. You have to pick a gender: the test doesn't assign you one. But frankly, it's queer whomever you are and whatever marital assignment you choose. And as it turns out:


As a 1930s husband, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!

Hat Tip. And no, princess, it isn't wrong to want to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer all day. If you are in an English department, you could even get away with calling it work.

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Meditation on Change: the Radical Wears Her Administrator's Hat

Recently I have been involved in one of those academic negotiations that involves calling on powers of persuasive argument normally reserved for one's scholarship (sprucing up old ideas with new evidence, adding a dash of original thought culled from new reading) in an attempt to make a case for intellectual and institutional change. It is a case that I have made before, many times, sometimes to great applause from allies of various kinds. It is a case that others have made before me, and along side of me. But it is a case that, although partial results have been won over time, has never succeeded as it should. It is a change that makes sense, but it fails -- over and over -- to be approved. And what I want, although it seems to have puzzled some people at Zenith over close to two decades, doesn't puzzle me -- and in fact is not an unconventional feature of institutional life elsewhere. In other words, Other People Do It. Smart People. Prestigious People. Why Not Us?

As I am now fifty, and have approximately thirty years left to live (thirty-five if I am lucky and careful) a maximum of fifteen of which will be spent at Zenith, I am at the stage of life when it seems reasonable to question any expenditure of energy that seems not to be getting results. Or at least, if I am going to dedicate myself to something difficult, maybe it should be finishing final revisions on the book that got trashed during the Unfortunate Events: better yet, world peace, racial equality, universal health care, the global refugee issue, affordable higher education, world hunger, an end to illiteracy in my community, or a full-frontal attack on the standardized testing industry. All of these issues could use another set of hands, a quick wit and a big mouth.

And yet I continue to work on This Thing (not, of course to the exclusion of other things, as I write, teach my courses, and occasionally contribute my energies to stumping for a political candidate), in part because This Thing is so close to being successful. And yet it is not successful.

As the steamroller of administrative labor caught up with me this week, the scholarly work I am supposed to be doing in what is a remarkably short summer got sand kicked in its face by the institutional version of the Bully on the Beach. The Bully is not a person, but an unwelcome problem -- the kind of task they pay me to do as chair, that has to be done whether I like it or not and that can crop up unexpectedly. And part of how I got dragged into this set of negotiations is not just because it is work that Must Be Done, but because it involves changing This Thing -- my own personal Sisyphean task. As I considered buying myself a Charles Atlas course of some kind so that in the future my ninety-seven pound weakling of a writing self won't be chased away from my bathing beauty scholarship by a big, strapping administrative task, my mind wandered to how difficult it is to change the system.

To say that I wish to change the whole system by doing This Thing would be going too far. I don't have that fantasy. After all, I know the system well, I work it fairly effectively, it benefits me to some degree, and barring revolution, it is the system we have. But as I said, the rub is this: although the change being proposed has been presented in many long documents it is considered in many places not to be terribly radical. As a matter of fact, I know it isn't even radical at Zenith, because the mode of response has shifted from resistance to avoidance. In other words, it has been acknowledged that this change is something to which no one is opposed, intellectually or practically. And yet, Change fails to occur. Why?

Now partly I am being discreet about the issue under discussion because negotiations of various kinds require discretion, and also because History Shows that people dislike being written about without permission. Temporarily, at least, I would prefer to retain my status as well-liked. But partly I am being deliberately abstract, because if I told you what the issue was you, Dear Reader, would do what all academics do, which is offer solutions for that particular problem, your sympathy, or similar tales of woe (I actually have a friend who, every time s/he writes a request that addresses a similarly long-awaited change tells me "Yeah, I sent in the tale of woe again.") But I'm also after something grander here. Why is Change so difficult to achieve in the academy?

Oh go ahead, blame tenure. But I think we need to think more creatively than that.

One place I would start is a colleague of mine, now retired, who was a Very Famous Scholar. He was also a conservative in the grand old meaning of the term before it got highjacked by David Horowitz and Pat Buchanan. A Goldwater conservative crossed with a Buckley conservative, if you will. I would be in meetings with Dr. V.F. Scholar, and someone would propose some kind of change -- say, in the sequencing of courses, or in how one might simplify the form that admitted a student to honors work. And he would smile gamely, as if on the brink of tears, and say, "I don't think that is a good idea at all. You might be right -- it could be better to do it that way. But it might be worse." And with that, we would usually abandon whatever petty reform we had embarked on and leave things as they were.

As time moves on, however, I find that my former colleague was unique only in the sense that he was honest and open about his belief that change -- in and of itself -- was not necessarily a cause for optimistic anticipation. Instead, it was -- well, ominous. Because if things begin to change, where would it all stop? Would untenured scholars begin to say what they really thought, and write what they really wanted to write? Would it become possible to have an idea that was worth pursuing, publishing, building a program around, without it being vetted by eight anonymous referees, six university committees, a self-study, an outside review, sending it to a seventh committee and requiring a vote of the full faculty? Might students insist, as they did during that Terrible Time we call the 'sixties (even though a lot of it happened in the 'seventies) that they wanted some authority over what and how they learned?

Yes, these things might happen. Alhough probably not, particularly now that students have been so completely cowed by the college admissions process that they too regard change as something unobtainable and punishable by exclusion from the Elect; and untenured scholars are so bullied by the job hunt and tenure process that they would write on the sidewalk if we assured them it was the only way to acquire health insurance and secure their livelihood as intellectuals. More and more, I think my former colleague hit the nail right on the head. When you make a change it might be better. Or it might be worse. And there is no way to know.

Except to try.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

In Every Cloud A Silver Lining

I thought today was going to be a crappy day. Not only did I not get the New York TImes for the second day this week, but instead of the Old Grey Lady I received instead a copy of that excrescence otherwise known as our corporate-owned "local" newspaper. Then my car almost got towed (as we have not yet renewed our neighborhood parking sticker) except that I ripped out to the sidewalk, partially dressed, and got it started before it was hooked up to the truck. Then the lawnmower broke, so half the lawn is sticking up at crazy angles and the other half looks like a neat little Marine.

But things are getting better. I have just been notified by Fiona King, of Online University Reviews that the Tenured Radical has been named one of the top 100 blogs written by liberal arts professors.

Since I have just been roaring around the house complaining that I can't get to work, I'm going to make this short, but let me say that it has been a bumpy but pleasurable ride in the past eighteen months, and I look forward to the future. Thanks, Fiona.