Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I Wonder Why I Said That?

I’m sure I’ve said lots of inappropriate things. Accidentally, and on purpose. But there’s one hole I keep digging for myself over and over. I can’t seem to stop. Just about once a month, I mention this opinion to someone as thought I’ve never said it before. Maybe by writing about it I can make it stop.

The Boy and I work in higher education, right? Right. And we have very strong opinions about a great many things about our program, our employer, and college life in general, right? Oh so right. I think that I have a right to my opinion and that if I want to talk about a trend or an unwritten rule, I should be able to vocalize my thoughts on these topics whenever I want. And I do.

So. One of my favorite things to talk about is the quality and training lineage of our faculty. They’re wonderful—dedicated, inspiring, knowledgeable, supportive. We just went through about 94 searches for various reasons, so every round of applicants that we discussed found me spouting off on a weekly basis.

In a faculty/staff meeting (there are 22 of us), we were debating the merits of a certain applicant pool, and I decreed, “Well, I think it’s very important for someone who gets a degree somewhere to go away and teach or work for a while before they come back and work where they got their degree. Just staying at the same place, or leaving undergrad and then coming right back after getting an MFA somewhere else doesn’t give you enough experience.”

And then I looked around at the room, and realized … two of our faculty members and one of our professional staff … had done just that—gotten training here and stayed or left for three years and come right back.

One of those people is the chair of our department.

Oops. I usually say that in one-on-one conversations, and never to the people it described. And now there was no way out.

So I just smiled, sunk down in my chair, and proceeded to become extremely interested in my legal pad.

But, hey, I didn’t get fired, and that was months ago. So I’m in the clear, right?

Except I said a variation of that exact statement … yesterday, while talking about a former student who was sour grapes about our not interviewing her for two of the 94 searches. And who did I say it to?

Yup. The chair of our department.

And this time I didn’t have a legal pad with me.

I’ll let you know if I still have a job at the end of the day.

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