Meetings and more meetings. Meetings about meetings. I feel like I've had so much information tossed at me, with few connections or intersections, and no real time to process which I want/need to think a lot more about, and which I can put on a back burner. I would have done way better with one or two presentations today instead of five.
Why is it that when the Teaching Teachers to Teach group head gives a presentation, he stands at the front of the room and reads off his powerpoint slides of the TTT website? (Which have print too small for middle aged faculty types to read from the seating area.)
I had one moment of real happiness going into a meeting this week, when I saw a colleague who, last I saw her in winter, had been going through some sort of chemo and was looking tight in the jaw (in the way that seems to happen with chemo sometimes) and wearing a scarf. When I saw her now, she had a way more relaxed face and hair, and said she was feeling way lots better.
And I heard something very interesting, though I'm not sure how much to credit it. According to one person here, our residence hall student leadership is heavily evangelical Christian. According to the one person, the evangelical Christian groups pretty much control residence hall life, and strongly encourage their members to apply to become RAs and such. This same person says that Christian groups controlling residence hall life is a trend across many campuses.
Surprised me. Does anyone have a sense of this? Is it just something said to get folks like me riled up, or is there something to it?
An anecdote: when I went to college, the two guys (M and J) living across the hall had gone to a Catholic high school, and our crowd had talked about this because we'd all talked about what high schools we'd gone to as part of our getting acquainted chatting. Then one day, L suddenly asked M if he was Christian. I was all shocked, and thought that L somehow didn't know that all the protestant sects had developed from Catholicisms, so of course he was Christian. But after when M said that he was Catholic, and L said that meant he wasn't Christian, M explained (privately) to me that some evangelical Christians don't believe that Catholics are Christians.
The upshot, of course, was that I learned a little about evangelicals, with whom I had had no experience before. I knew nothing about evangelical Christians at all. I mean, I knew there were different groupings within Protestantism, but I had no idea that they didn't see all those groupings and all the different Catholic and Orthodox folks as belonging to the same broad group of "Christians."
Seriously, the most I knew about evangelical Christianity was that Jimmy Carter was Baptist or something, and talked about how he lusted in his heart. I don't remember anyone in my acquaintance being impressed by Nixon's being a Quaker, despite a generally positive characterization of Quakers by people I knew. Maybe he just didn't seem like much of a Quaker?
I meet with the special first year class tomorrow. I should start drinking now, because I'm really not at all ready.
I've already had one student athlete contact me to say that the team was doing an away practice and he'd miss class. I'm impressed that he contacted me ahead, indeed, but also irritated that the coaches scheduled a first year student to miss this supposedly important thing. I mean, it's important enough that the administration requires ME to be there, so why isn't it important enough for coaches to avoid taking first years to the away practice?
Having this come up already doesn't bode well for Friday's this semester, does it? Even I know that this student is going to miss a lot of classes for team travel and such. And they'll all be excused absences, of course.