Sunday, July 23, 2006


Mostly, this faculty development thing is interesting and gives me lots to think about. I have a few frustrations, though.

I'm supposed to be team leader for my campus group (aka team). Okay, so I've chaired committees and such before, and I'm fairly focused on getting stuff done.

One of our team members makes this exercise something akin to herding cats. Really. I'm going nuts here. He's a loud talker, and not very focused on the project at hand, and interrupts the women in our group all the time (but not other men). Grrrr. I feel some feminist education coming on.

There seems to be this male male connection thing happening with a few men. I have no objection to the connection thing; connecting is good. I object to the decibel level at which they have to have these connections, and to the connections happening during times when the rest of us are trying to talk about faculty development or something. Or they're making the connection across a table of quiet conversation, so that no one else can really continue.

The upshot, though, is that I'm really aware today of how wonderful most of the men in my department are. They manage to speak at reasonable decibel levels, to listen to others and not interrupt, and to get committee or other work done in groups.

Part of the issue that gets me is ironic. We've talked about the difficulty of getting students to go to presentations by other students, to visit poster days, or whatever. Students (like bloggers, perhaps), like to have their say, but don't necessarily want to engage with what other people are saying through respectful reading/listening and thoughtful responses.

Faculty, though, we spend a lot of time hearing ourselves talk, often, and lots less time listening to others talk. So we aren't in general good at listening respectfully. Instead, we tend to jump in and try to make our own points and take the stage.

Yeah, so we're not perfect, I guess. Even me.

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