Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Critical Mass

This year, something's changed about my department.  It's not a bad change, just a change.  At least it feels like a change to me.

Suddenly, I find myself being one of the faculty who's been around a long time.  And there's this group of faculty who seem very young.

We hired a few new people this past year, and I think they've made a critical mass with the people who've been here two or three years, and to me it feels like there's much more of a community of young faculty, and I'm definitely not part of it.  That's okay, just a bit weird.

I think one of the things that makes it weirder is that we mostly use some of the same social media, so I see posts about their trivia nights at the bar and so on.

But, of course, I'm one of the older folks, so I'm not very savvy about this newfangled internet stuff.

The good thing is that when I was hired here, I know the senior colleagues at the time looked at my cohort and thought how young we were.  And they were gracious about that, and welcomed us as members of the department, listened to our contributions in meetings, and so on.  They were a good model for me, I think.

Still, it's weird.  And I'm amused that I find it weird.


  1. I haven't been around very long but I'm much older than most of our new hires, of which we have quite a few. I am kind of caught in the middle. Because I'm new I often get invited to the happy hours and other events but because I'm older, they seek out my advice. It's weird. I think in another year or two, I'll be solidly in the group of people who've been here a while.

  2. Ha, yes. I'm suddenly senior faculty at my university. WTF? How did that happen?

  3. "I'm one of the older folks, so I'm not very savvy about this newfangled internet stuff."

    Hah! Yes, I love it when people assume that and get shocked at the ways in which they're wrong.

  4. Anonymous7:42 AM

    I'm invited to a lot of the new hires stuff, probably because I just had a baby and many of them just had babies. It's weird though because my other colleagues who I invite to things (with older children, who were here before I got here) are not usually invited to the newer folks stuff. The person who got tenured after me is also invited (though her kid is older). I'm like the cut-off person.

  5. Yes! For me it happened when we hired a couple of new folks a year or two ago, and I suddenly realized that I was 150% of their age. A silly statistic, I know, but it really hit me powerfully. And they go out to bars and hang out together on the weekend, and I very much do not. We all get along beautifully, but there's definitely an age divide.