Sunday, July 11, 2010

up to my ears

Friends and family know that I have no shortage of words when it comes to whining about the less-than-positive aspects of my job. I could write pages and pages about every outdated, poorly designed, mismanaged, ill-conceived aspect of the job, and how even though I am charged with coordinating the program, the things that are in direst need of attention are outside the realm of my influence, etc., etc., yada, yada....

Words failed me last week, however, when I had to write a 360-word promotional piece to accompany an ad for next year's program. I think I managed to eke out 194 words before my mind started to warp...

Come spend a month at our campus. We have cleverly timed the program to coincide with the arrival of several hundred high-schoolers here to attend wrestling, cheerleading, and football camps. If you are lucky, they will not have eaten all the good stuff at the dining hall by the time you shuffle your middle-aged rump across campus.

If you missed the opportunity to experience dormitory living during your undergraduate studies, you will now have the chance to live in a 14' X 20' room, sharing a bath with someone who is the Oscar to your Felix, or vice-versa. We hope that all of the mildewed carpet in the residence hall will be replaced by the time your group arrives, but cannot guarantee same.

Your days in the classroom will be spent among colleagues whose tales of woe will rival your own. Nobody has it worse than they do back at their home campus. Prizes will not be given for the saddest tale of administrative abuses of power, but that doesn't stop the sharing.

You may or may not be assigned to a qualified advisor to guide you through the design of your project, since you failed to return the required paperwork on a timely basis. We are not mind readers and have no preconceived idea of what the hell you want to work on while you're here.

Need more information? Your program director will cheerfully answer any questions you have, at least the first and second times. After that she will become quite testy and refer you to the program Web site or the informative handout you were given 5-minutes prior. She will smile when you ask how she is. And she will weep to see you leave at the end of 4 weeks. Whether this is because she will genuinely miss you, because her veneer of self-control has finally cracked, or because she knows she must immediately begin planning for next year's program, well . . . .


  1. Hysterical! What's wrong with it? I say go to press with whatcha got.

  2. You make me wish I had stayed in school and become an acedemic :-)

    Funny post, Intell!

  3. Heidi, that would solve the dilemma of planning for next year's program, wouldn't it?

    Doug, it's never too late. We promote lifelong learning. Or is that lifelong teaching....?

  4. Does that include teaching how to spell the word "academic"?

  5. Yeah, sounds perfect to me, too. :)

  6. A little vinegar works wonders, methinks. Makes me want to go. Where do I sign up?

  7. A 14x20' room? Sounds like a palace compared to most of the dorm rooms I've seen. Or is that for four people? I assume the rooms are heated and air-conditioned. How about a big-screen TV? What time do we get started in the morning? Not too early I hope. What time does the chow hall open? Will they cook a ham and cheese omelet for me? Are the desks in the classrooms large and comfortable or are we expected to be cramped into a pint-sized torture chamber? Are your ready to refer me to the website yet?

  8. :-) Thanks I needed that, having returned to tertiary studies again, some 25 years after I thought I'd finished for good ...


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