Friday, August 15, 2008

Meeting Mayhem!

Hello folks and welcome back to Meeting Mayhem, in which ordinary academics compete to attend the most meetings in one day, with bonus points for carrying the correct reading material to each meeting, making relevant and coherent contributions to the discussion, and making the cross-campus dash without compromising professional appearance or composure.

Before the break we saw Prof Jolly earn 20 bonus style points for walking into the budget meeting with his extensively annotated departmental budget tucked neatly under his arm--look at him take those stairs three at a time without breaking a sweat! You know he's been in training. But then Prof Knowall punctured Jolly's poise with a pointed question and Prof Jolly bobbled the budget codes, so they go into the final heat neck-and-neck.

They've survived the budget meeting, the chairs' meeting, the advising meeting, and the freshman seminar meeting; their final challenge will take them to a search committee meeting on the other side of campus. There's the starting bell--and they're off!

Prof Jolly wavers a bit before choosing the construction-rich route--watch him scramble around blocked-off walkways and hurdle yellow caution tape and---ooh, looks like he caught his heel on that one! And he's in the mud pit!

Knowall chose the construction-free route, a little longer but crowded with large tour groups of prospective students and parents. Can he elbow his way through the crowd without stepping on any toes? Oh no, his briefcase just belted that large lady right in the keister! Points off for rudeness--but he'll show up at the meeting without mud on his pants!

Jolly gets to the meeting just a nose ahead of Knowall--but they're both late! The job applicant has started his presentation and the two contestants will have to find seats! Knowall picks up a bonus there for spotting the least conspicuous seat, but Jolly has to walk in front of the applicant, his mud stains fully on display! Ooh, big deduction for style there.

Knowall has a slight lead but the darkened room seems to be taking its toll. He's drooping--his chin is falling--and his eyes are closing--but he's jerked his head up just in time!

Meanwhile, Jolly jabs a lightning-quick pun at the applicant and everyone laughs! Bonus points for staying in the spotlight, but now it's time for serious questions; can he keep the levity under control? Knowall shoots his hand up for the first question, and it's a doozy: bonus points for using "assessment" and "measurable outcomes" in the same question but a slight style deduction for "outside the box." The applicant is stymied! Jolly steps in to help him out with a joke, and the room roars!

Looks like Jolly's got this race in the bag, but what's this? Knowall pulls out the big guns with a question incorporating both "long-term visioning" and "strategic retrenchment"! Oh, that's gotta hurt! Can Jolly recover? He's dazed, folks! He's on the ropes! And it looks like Prof Jolly is down for the count! Let's hear it for our champion, Prof Knowall!

Prof Knowall? Do you have anything to say to our viewers? Prof Knowall? Hello? Are you in there?

I'm sorry, folks, but it looks like Prof Knowall's triumph has turned to tragedy: his many-meeting marathon has transformed him into a blithering idiot. But tune in next week for another episode of--Meeting Mayhem!

1 comment:

Bardiac said...

That will be us, next week. :(