July 30, 2009

Beer summits for all!

I'm stuck (or indulging) in a weeks-long catchup mode for giant amoeba-like tasks, and I'm doing my best to avoid looking at e-mail more than once every day or so.

It's mid-summer on campus, and I will admit that part of my e-mail slowdown is fear of what will pop up as much as a desire to get my own work done. The summer is silly season as much in academe as in politics because many faculty are out of town on various expeditions, serious and not, and the downtime is when both serious and absurd ideas float without mooring. (The upside: staff can get a lot accomplished if not interrupted. The destructive potential is that some administrators or staff might try to create a fait accompli in the summer without having to run things by faculty, though I can understand sometimes why that could be tempting.) I've seen at least one absurd farce this summer, as well as a host of serious issues that I suspect would not be popping up in the academic year (which has a different potential for absurdity). But I've had to deal with enough real emergencies in the past year that I am on e-mail hiatus for most of each day in the next few weeks.

And if things go wrong on stuff that isn't a dire emergency, I have the solution: more beer summits! Have a disagreement with me or my union? Let's sit down with a pint each and hash it out. And even if you don't like Bud Light, Red Stripe, or Blue Moon, you can have your pick. That includes gluten-free beer for those with celiac disease, or something other than beer if that's just not your cup of ... beer. You understand, right?

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Posted in The academic life on July 30, 2009 9:12 AM |