A SHORT VISIT FROM LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE
OK, I have to admit that, much as I amused myself with it, yesterday's post was whining in drag. However, like Fox News, I believe in balance. So I decided that today's post would be to write five heretofore hidden facts about my job that contribute to my happiness.
1. The man who stepped in to be chair of The Program this year, since I was on sabbatical for half the year, has done a darn good job. Let's call him Dr. Hawthorne. Dr. Hawthorne is one of those colleagues who people never ask to do things until gradually the assumption takes hold that it is somehow his fault that he doesn't. Even though he hasn't been asked. And yet, when we asked him to, he rose to the occasion and revealed himself to be a more than mildly competent administrator, as well as a deeply generous and likeable person who shows an almost daily consideration for the well-being of others. He also brings cookies and little cakes to the office. This has been a bit like hiring a nice new colleague, actually, without having to do stuff like teaching him how to use the electronic advising system.
2. My feminist politics seminar is going great. The students do the reading and oh, are they smart. And they never respond to a book that I love that also happens to have been written twenty years ago by saying, "Well, this doesn't seem very up to date."
3. I love my office.
4. Last year Zenith gave me barrels of free money to chill me out after the Unfortunate Events, some of which I still have and am using (in part) to fund a fabulous (research) trip to Hotlanta in a couple weeks.
5. The reality of being a full Professor has begun to dawn on me: it means that I can really do whatever I want and that being restrained and gracious are suddenly seen as virtues rather than subservience. It means that La Professora refers to me as "Your Fullness." It also means that I can write what I want, publish it wherever I want to be read and I no longer have to be concerned that someone will use it as evidence that I am not a serious person. Because of this, I have not only been blogging, I have been doing some more commercial writing, written a piece for a literary magazine and have completely reconceptualized the book I was working on before I was derailed by the Unfortunate Events so that literate people who are not academics might read it too. Being a full Professor also gives me the option of rocking my head back and forth and chanting "Nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah -- nyaaaaah" should restraint and graciousness fail and I need to pull out the big guns in an emergency. I have never actually seen anyone do this at Zenith, so I think I would have the element of surprise on my side.