Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Loud Bang and Some Cheering Music

Did you hear that loud bang?
That was my summer, coming to a crashing halt.
Yesterday I was hanging out in the hammock, reading (admittedly, I was reading a heavily footnoted academic tome, but still).
Today I have to go on campus for a Cross-Faculty meeting. Supposedly called to deal with new term issues, I always cynically think that it's designed to check which of us are back on campus, as required, by August 15th. Given that most of us manage to present and/or publish our research regularly, and that we teach a 4/4 load, this requirement always grates, but if you do the 9-5 thing with only 3 or 4 weeks holiday each year, you are unlikely to sympathize(unless, like my husband, you watch someone work evenings and weekends from about September 20th 'til the beginning of May). But that should be a separate rant, and I'll stop now. You're welcome.

Anyway, there will probably be 60 or so of us attending, sitting in a non-air-conditioned room (it's going to be mid-to-high 20s by 10 a.m.) listening to our dean speak, then the VP Academic, then each other as we jockey for position to argue one arcane point after another. Actually, that's putting a better spin on it -- really, the points will not arcane be but actually quite germane in trying to resist the inexorable erosion of all departments in Arts and Humanities. Courses getting cut, buildings needing repair, offices having to be shared, and on and depressing on it will go. Life in academe in the humanities these days requires some very strictly-worn blinkers -- the four of us who have our offices in one of the satellite buildings cheer each other along during term by reminding ourselves to focus on "sweetness and light" -- the Matthew Arnold phrase has become a tiny in-joke reassuring us that a few others understand our situation while reminding us that a wallow in the slough of grumpiness and depression can quickly become a dangerous commitment to unhappiness.

So instead, as a stand on the side of sweetness and light, I thought I'd list a few of the songs that I've enjoyed running to recently, having, with my daughter's help, uploaded many of my CD's into my ITunes library and then downloaded into my IPod. (OH, and that ITunes -- that is dangerous and wonderful all at the same time -- I even downloaded the new MadMen to watch one day after it appeared on TV!)
Reggae Got Soul by Toots and the Maytals -- After all, anything that shouts out "Granmudder can do it, Granfadder can do it, Do it and feel alright" is going to appeal to this Nana.
Well, maybe not anything, but Toots is in charge, right?
Brighter Discontent by The Submarines
Holly Cole's version of The Beatles' I've Just Seen a Face
Sonic Youth's cover of The Carpenters' Superstar

See, I'm smiling again already. Maybe I'll sneak my IPod into the meeting, d'you think? It's either that or my sock-knitting.
What about your day?

6 comments:

  1. I like the sound of arcane socks...

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  2. I think the iPod is a good idea. If you have the Touch version, you can even pretend you're making notes!

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  3. I know how you feel - I'm back on Monday :-(

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  4. Oh dear. I hope you endured the meeting ok!

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  5. I really hate loud noises. My sympathies!

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  6. LPC: Most socks have the benefit (?) of not being arcane at all, no?
    Nanflan: So that's how you executive types get through all those meetings ;-) Thanks for the tip!
    Janine: Isn't it sad?!
    Tiffany: At least I got a couple of inches on the sock and got to say hi to some colleagues I haven't seen all summer.
    PM: There must be some clanking going on down your way as well . . .

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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