Sunday, July 5, 2009

The question nobody asks . . .

"How many times can we ask the same question, Ms. Intelliwench, before you blast us with imaginary death-rays and wish us gone from the face of the Earth?"

It's day nine of the month-long summer institute I organize, and I haven't killed anybody . . . yet. It's getting more and more difficult, though, to sound sweet and helpful when someone asks, ten minutes after I deliver the information both verbally and via handout, what the library's hours are, or what time we meet for such-and-such tour, or where the sign-up sheet for this-thing-or-the-other is. The institute participants are all college faculty themselves, which makes pandering to their inattentiveness even more difficult.

The good news is that I have finally been getting at least 6 hours of sleep a night.

The bad news is that it's only day 9 of the month-long summer institute I organize.


  1. Let's see now 9 from...hummm 30 days hath september, april, june and november, all the rest have 31 except for??? oh shoot which is the one that has 28, well except for leap year and then it is...i forget. So it must be the month of Intelliwench's summer institute, why else would she schedule it? So, that is 9 from 28 = 19 more days of the institue. Is that the correct answer Ms. Intelliwench?

  2. Keep the safety on the deathray gun and hang in there. Enjoy the extra sleep.

  3. Intell---please accept my sincere and humble apology for introducing Punch to your otherwise classy site. I'm not sure if his problem is due to the Cuban coffee, or the lobotomy.

  4. My department has a standard e-mail which reads:
    Dear X,
    the information you request has been provided on paper and electronically. We suggest that you read the module guide.

    Answering inquiries about information readily available detracts from your student experience because we never get time to prepare fascinating lectures.

    Yours etc.

    Unfortunately, I think they give up at the first multisyllabic word…

  5. Write in large letters on a blackboard or similar:


  6. Punch - put that way, 19 days doesn't seem like quite such a long time. Thank you?

    Lou, thanks - sound advice on both counts!

    Jaded - no need to apologize - he seems to be housebroken.

    PV - I think I'll borrow that, if you don't mind. I don't suppose you'd happen to have anything I could send to a department secretary who refuses to do her job?

    Doug - I'm going to have that printed on T-shirts for my staff!

  7. Intelliwench, What one earth ever possessed you to organize a retreat for college professors in the first place? Lock yourself in a room full of super egos for a month on 6 hrs or less of sleep every night? Jeez. I'd rather go to Abu Ghraib

  8. Mr. C, I originally agreed to take on the job for the money. They money hasn't come through, but the attendees do.

    I can always cut back my marketing efforts for next year's Institute . . .


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