Heading Out

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

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Palace Intrique

Well that was the first time we have seen wine served to a faculty function in the Duchy during the day within the reign of the Duchess. One wonders a little as to why, given that there was a more logical event earlier in the semester - but then given that tomorrow is the last day, perhaps there are other reasons. One should not be cynical - it was a free glass of wine (actually I fled since there was at the start more wine than folk and I had things to do). The recommendations of the Committee on her position have been delivered to the Prince Regent. Since I stopped by to do the necessary, she and I had a little chat and she was a bit friendlier - as she was at an Admin meeting earlier.

I don't think that it is totally coincidental that Hatless is talking more frequently about hanging it up at the end of next semester. On the other hand he may be taking it a bit hard that the election turned out the way it did and that he does not get to go back to Washington. (After this term he will likely be too old). What to do? Now is when, in fairness, I should step down if I am going this year, and it is tempting to return to "my first love of teaching and research" as we so often put it. Is voluntarily giving up power in academia that uncommon these days that this phrase has such a bad reputation?

On the other hand with a new Tsar, possibly a new Duke/Duchess and the feverish fighting going on over the non-existant funding we don't have to create new positions, the question is as to whether I stay another year to keep some stability for our faculty and staff, as well as fighting (in vain likely) for funds weighs in the balance. Yet if I do go why am I still working like a loon to get these WP's out except that if others are PI's then I am leaving a legacy.

And if I am to believe the underlying message of the books and my own research about Peak Oil then we are heading into an era where inflation can be dramatic. I used to have stamps worth millions of German marks from before WW2. Peoples savings were wiped out almost overnight, and so one also has concerns. But maybe it's just that we are all a bit depressed with the end of the semester and the drop in adrenaline.

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