Heading Out

Seeking the winds that help to sail on Shakespeare's tide.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Not all politics is national

It's already Wednesday and our nice steady research productivity that we have sustained over the summer is being shredded by the onset of the semester. But first we have to have meetings - some of which I have even called.

First we had the meeting for the course and divided the lectures - I have four. As we finished it was off to find out how the new budget forms work. Except that they relate to NIH and NSF and our folk often want to pay us by the hourly rate so this didn't help much - except to consume an hour and a half. The colleague wanting the reference was there and at least I could tell her it was half done. (Top of my list for tomorrow). The forms also don't deal with monthly estimate and expense, which some of our masters want.

Indiana is that way and so I did this month's written and financial report, (meaning no time to write any of the new ideas that they want me to send - sigh). But I got four cookies and a cup of coffee with the demonstration.

Back at the office we were scrambling to get the info for the reporter/journalist. Somewhere in 5,000 photos we have to have the ones that will work. The Administrator finally found four and I forgot to burn these to a CD so will need to e-mail them first thing in the morning (Item 2 on my list).

But then off to the Congressional visitor. I ended up on the front row and had to make some unanticipated (by me) remarks. Since the Duchess had snaffled the obvious portfolio (but wasn't there oddly) and the nominal reason was under the aegis of another colleague I played nice and just make gentle waffling noises. They did give us a couple of cookies - so I suppose in all I had some lunch. And then there was the tour (which I skipped to sign the forms on the Ohio contract in a different office - we may even get to start s that this week (what a silly hope). So I got back to the office at 4 pm and helped with the final photo selection. (The Administrator is better than I at judging what the public likes).

In case, gentle reader, you had missed the signs there is actually one of those university political manoevering things going on here. We have a senior Administrative position currently coming up (other than the Tsar). Duchess, who is not by some definition qualified, is the favorite of the Prince Regent (better name than number 2). Her major competitor on campus is the Dauphin, who would probably be the choice of the committee - if he were to run. I think that Hatless might be running, except that his recent dropping of the hat would weaken that effort, and I really think he is hoping that there is an Aministration change since that is where he came from (the last D.C. one that is).

This is going to get a whole lot closer to shall we say an earlier historic period in Italy, before it gets much older. Oh ! A hysterical thought pops into mind. Surely they don't think I am going to run. Actually I wouldn't have a prayer, but it certainly might explain the portfolio decision. Who said paranoia is not well and flourishing in academe. (Since, as you know, I will step down before too long this is probably also maybe just an ego-massaging thought but it will amuse me tonight . .)

Having made the prediction here about oil prices, just for a bit of fun I stuck a note on the wall outside commenting that I would be vindicated if oil hits $50 and my usual erroneous self if it drops to $30. That was before I saw a recent and tomorrow's article on the subject in the Guardian. Instead of Christmas I should probably have put the Election. It should generate a little amusement among my students.



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