Tuesday, January 31, 2017

All Occasions do Inform...

Of course, they don't. 

But, it's barely the second week of the semester, and I feel so bummed.

I didn't teach yesterday, but was on campus for a meeting (which I chaired) and to do a bunch of related paperwork afterwards.  Then I needed to set up the grade books and enter the first grades.  I'd almost finished that when a student appeared in my doorway, in that way some students have, expectant, like of course I'm just there waiting for them.

It was an advisee I've seen once before, whom I had to prompt to remind me of her name.  (Hint: if I've met you once or twice over a month or two ago, introduce yourself again.  If I remember, I'll graciously say so, and if I don't, I'll be very grateful for your courtesy.  If you appear at my door, I assume you know who I am.)

And because I try not to be a jerk, I talked with her.

She wanted to talk about her schedule for next semester, so we did.  At which point I noticed that she isn't taking the courses this semester that I recommended, but instead, has switched from an upper level course (suggested) to a lower level course.  The problem is, a student can only take 2 lower level courses in the selected electives area, and she's already taken those, so this course won't count towards her major requirements.

You know that will be my fault, somehow.  When she doesn't graduate in a timely manner, the advising folks are going to look at that course and blame me for bad advising.  So, yep, I made a note in the file.  (I hate that I've learned to think this way about advising, too.)

You know how it is when you put two and two together, and it comes up four?  Well, yes.  One of my friends over in [Mathematical Forestry] mentioned giving a talk in [another place] recently (in an email), so I asked what the talk was about.  And heard nothing.  Okay, so usually this friend is pretty excited about their work, and happy to talk about it. 

And then I realized, this place/time doesn't seem likely for a conference.

And my friend is in a fairly small field.  So, yeah, I looked at the job listings, and sure enough, there's a job there, and my friend would be superb at it, and geographically, it makes such good sense for them.

It's not like we're super duper close friends, and they've haven't told me they're on the market or anything, but it would totally make sense.  But I can't just say, oh, if you're going to give a job talk there, I know [an administrator] and they're a really great administrator.  (And I do know an administrator, and they're probably the best administrator I've ever worked with.)  (Besides, I don't want my friend thinking I'm stalking them in a creepy way; and of course, if they don't get an offer, then it's best not to talk about it.)

I'm so bummed at the thought of this friend leaving (for me, totally selfishly), but also, I know it would be a much better situation for the friend personally and professionally.  And given this university's devastating budget situation, everyone who can leave should.

Then there's the political situation.  I can't even begin...

It's cold and grey out, and I'm so ready for some warmth and good news.

1 comment:

  1. I'm adopting "the policy of small wins" from Clarissa's latest post. Celebrate EVERYTHING! Student came to see you about next fall---she cares about her studies! You remembered to document her error---you rock! Your friend got a job interview and you might have a friend in a cool place to go visit!

    My win for the day is sending e-mail to my own reps, and also to John McCain to thank him for standing against the orange one on so many issues; and I remembered to call the orange one by his name, in e-mail, so I'd sound less like a kook in complete denial of reality, though I have to say, I am SO GLAD I have solid professional reasons to live mainly in the distant past . . . hanging out, mentally, with Shakespeare and Geoffrey of Monmouth is a huge improvement over the news.