Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A Simple Request

Committee stuffs. I'm probably a slow study. I need to read stuff, and I need to mull. I need to think, and sometimes, I need to talk to other people to get a different perspective. It took me perhaps two committee meetings as a young faculty member to realize that I really do need to prepare.

I'm on a committee for which the agenda is usually distributed after 9pm the night before. Today's agenda wasn't distributed until I asked for it, during my break between classes. By the time it got to my email, though, I was back in the classroom earning my keep, and the actual information we were deciding on today wasn't in my box (the physical box in the main office) until less than an hour before the meeting; I didn't have time to get it as I moved from class to the meeting. And I certainly didn't read or mull it during the class discussion I was leading.

This isn't an emergency sort of committee; everything before us comes more than 24 hours ahead. This is bad planning and preparation on the part of the person responsible. Yes, we're all busy. S/he is, too.

But, at every meeting, instead of having time to read and check things out ahead, we spend time wondering what person X might need, or how rule Y applies or not. And then the person responsible says s/he'll check and get back to us. We have an hour crammed into the schedules of several busy people, and we waste at least half of it every time looking at things we should have had time to read and ponder.

The chair was less than happy with me today when I asked if we could please have the agenda and other business at least 24 hours ahead so we could read and prepare. S/he promised to try. I wanted to go all Yoda and say, "there is no try, there is only do or not do." I controlled my impulse.

We were all frustrated enough.

Have I mentioned lately how much I hate winter? And cold? And that white stuff that falls out of the sky and makes cars and people slip all over the place?

I heard a really fascinating talk about nearly local history tonight, an aspect of history in this area that I've never heard about really. But boy was it COLD walking back to the car!

I'll shush now and go to bed. Happy end of January. Can it be spring now? Please?

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