Heading Out

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

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Waiting for a shoe to fall

There is something about signs, and their interpretation. See, there I was the other day just chatting about retirement. And in my plan I would be sitting at the large window working on my Poser stuff, and I would be looking out of the window at the tree where the Actress had mounted a bird-feeder. Here is where the birds, squirrels and occasional chipmunk fight over the seeds and nuts (though actually it was a rabbit that ate the peach I threw out the other day).

Alas, due to a misunderstanding, the tree is gone. We had a stump I had cut long (so that I wouldn't fall over it) and we decided to have a handyman take it down. Sadly he misunderstood and took out THE TREE. So now I won't have that much to look at if I were to retire, until we plant a new one and it grows. So maybe I should stay where I are.

The times, however, are changing, with "she who guards my door" now on leave for six months, and our receptionist likely having to move as her husband has changed jobs, perhaps I should change also.

Decisions, decisions, should I take a leave and write another book? Do I feel like finding an agent ? The omens continued grey today. Having spend some hours outfitting the first two lectures in Powerpoint with individual sound-on-slide accompanyment so that the class doesn't have to come to a room to sleep, i discovered that the sound cut off about 20 seconds into each slide. Rabbits!

Oh, the Actress has a film part. Starts at the beginning of next week. She is quite excited, and it goes with the vaudeville that she is in that comes off this weekend.

The old life is getting a bit busier, and not as complex. Wonder if Hatless will get the job he's just applied for. And the Duchess, seeing a tumbril in her future, is moving into my territory. Wonder if she is bringing an axe?

Never let it be said that Academic life is dull.


Sunday, August 13, 2006

And another short update

Well, to explain just a little of what is going on, the current Administration here is in the midst of great change - the Provost (Prince Regent) is now gone, and we await the new rule, while the person that sits between that position and this humble servant is soon also to disappear. There have even been the odd suggestion or two that I apply to move up - well, and here I was planning to retire.

We are thus in the period of great change, since back in the old Department there might well be two senior faculty leaving within the next few months, and (as those who read TOD may have gathered) there are no viable replacements to be found. Industries that have had their death extolled on the covers of Business magazines have a remarkably hard time inducing students to take undergraduate positions, let alone graduate, or so stay in academia. We once listed all the PhD's around the world who were between wet-behind-the-ears, and back-in-diapers. After we had filtered just a little, I seem to remember we were left with about a dozen names. It has got worse since.

This should therefore, you might think, be a glorious era to be in this business. Not really, since already enrollments are going up rapidly, as faculty numbers fall, and soon the big boys will corner all the R&D dollars, just as they did the last time around. They don't actually do much with the money, but it keeps it from the rest of the screaming hordes.

So should I stay or go? I'm a little behind schedule now, but I must confess that it is amusing to be the fly on the wall, and watch to see what will transpire, this time around.

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