Monday, October 07, 2013

From the Other Side of the Divide

One of my friends from another department, let's call it Mathematical Forestry, called to vent.  It turns out one of our deanlings quit deaning and has returned to the ranks this year.  Naturally, the department welcomed him back with open arms, gave him a reduced schedule for a bit, and some prime classes, an intro Mathematical Forestry class, and an umbrella senior MF class for next semestser.  My friend is in the Pines sub-division of Mathematical Forestry, and the former deanling who studied tropical Evergreen (Spruces) MF way back in the day, but who was hired to teach statistical forestry, is now hot on teaching Evergreen MF again, because he was never that interested in the statistical stuff and never kept up, and now, with seniority and what not, has declared himself an Evergreen MFer.

But now, according to my friend, the former deanling is having an open panic attack in the hallway about teaching the umbrella senior MF class.  He was thinking about doing an Evergreen class, but he feels so far behind.  But he's assured my friend that he can do a Pines class, because he always did like Pines.  And he can't do Spruces, because he hasn't kept up in Spruces, and besides, students aren't interested in Spruces.

So my friend (who reads widely in Evergreens, because she has to teach lots of Evergreens all around), started imagining this amazing course that would tap into student interest in Spruces, which are amazing MF subjects.  And the former deanling was all sad and panicked because he would have to catch up on a lot of recent work that my friend mentioned.

He was also shocked that there was recent work in Spruces.  Who knew?  Spruces!

So maybe, he thought, he'll do a Pines class, because he knows all the Pines.  (And seems to think that there's been no work in Pines in the last 15 years or so.)

So all you Pine MFers, be aware, your last 15 years counts for naught in the eyes of the administrivials.


  1. You have the most interesting university, with both an underwater basketweaving department *and* a mathematical forestry department.

    Otherwise, *headdesk*.

  2. This is why deanlings should either be required to rotate back into the faculty on a much more regular basis, or shouldn't be eligible to return to the faculty (at least with tenure) at all. I'd vote for the former (and for much more of the administrative folk teaching -- especially intro/core courses -- regularly while administrating).

  3. What the other Susan said.

  4. Ah, pines, spruces, birches...I miss them already! (...catching up on some blog reading...)