Friday, March 13, 2015

When glee meets gloom

Years ago a colleague pulled the curtains tight so his neighbors wouldn't be appalled by what was going on inside: a small child's birthday party. 

On September 11, 2001.

What can you do when personal glee intersects with public gloom? I've been wondering that today as I'm enjoying a marvelous time with my adorable granddaughter while my colleagues digest a proposal that, if adopted, will gut some departments very close to my heart. We're out here splashing in puddles and looking at eagles and throwing rocks in the creek while people I care about are wondering what they'll do if they suddenly find themselves up the creek without a paddle.

We're having fun! But everywhere I go, I see signs of distress and gloom. I ought to be commiserating with my colleagues, but instead I'm chasing after a perpetual-laughing machine (at a time when laughter is really unseemly). 

Ah well, I'll have time for gloom tomorrow after the little jumping-bean goes back home. Meanwhile, we'll just pull the curtains shut and share our joy in private where we won't disturb the mournful.


Anonymous said...

Just curious about what programs at your school might be eliminated. That kind of thing seems to be going around these days.

Bev said...

Yes, it is an epidemic, but I'm not quite prepared to discuss details right now. Sorry.

Contingent Cassandra said...

I was at a conference recently where a Sweet Briar professor was presenting some (excellent) work. Complicated situation: do you ask about the presenter's job situation (and, in this case, the future hosting of some digital work) or not? Assume the person wants to talk about it, perhaps even network about possible job prospects (not that I had anything to offer), or to use the conference as an escape?

We live in difficult times, and occasional puddle-jumping breaks, especially when there is somebody else to enjoy them with, strike me as a healthy response.

Bev said...

That's a really good the current academic climate, I would expect anyone in a precarious situation to be doing heavy-duty networking whenever possible. But you're right: we do need to put the negative news aside occasionally.