Wednesday, July 26
It's summer, and I used to think that summers would be a glorious time when the hallways would be empty of students and my office would become a useful place to work. Not so. What happens in the summer is that lonely colleagues wander the hall looking for someone to chat with. I work at home in the summer just like I do the rest of the year. That would be okay except that I have an insane neighbor who cuts public utility cables because he thinks they shouldn't run across his property. So I have been without an internet connection since Thursday. Did that send me running to the office? Heck No! I read a.secret and email on my cell phone, and I held on to the the following post about Scarlet's absence. In that time Scarlet re-appeared, and I'm glad, but I do think we should keep an eye on her. I don't know anybody who actually offed themselves because they had too many academic obligations, but we all know tons of people who quit grad school, and I can name two established scholars in my field who ditched academe for just the sort of reason Scarlet identifies (not for lack of tenure). So I'll include my belated post here and then point out that the advice, "Just say, No," doesn't do much to save people like Scarlet from themselves.

Belated Post: A Mystery Among Us

Hey! What happened to Scarlet? What kind of community are we if we would let one of our own announce her impending death and then just disappear, unnoticed. Did we miss the signs of suicide and then ALSO miss the fact that she went missing? I mean maybe she's still alive--livin' on a private island with Elvis and a Blackberry (or maybe not the Blackberry), but... well, I hate to think... Has anybody checked the library and the candlestick? I haven't a Clue what happened.

Did her ToDo list do her in? Did she have "fake my own death" on her ToDo list? Maybe is was "buy a length of rope." Or maybe some lusty demographer learned her true identity and exacted some speedy revenge. Are we as safe as we think we are here on a.secret?

-Professor Plum (channeled by Kodachrome)


fraud, in denim said...

Are we as safe as we think we are here on a.secret?

This, Professor Plum, is an excellent question.

kodachrome said...

That was cool, d.fraud. Your link promised to take me to the Crayola site, but my browser warned me that the Plum link might be an imposter. Things are not as they appear!

Scarlet said...

I'm surprised no one has taken Plum as a color.

Scarlet said...

And, while faking my own death remains on my To-Do-List, no lusty demographers are involved.

lime said...

Last year, I supervised 3 independent projects by undergrad students. A colleague told me that I should have said no to these students, as it would take up too much of my time. But what he doesn't realize is that I did say no to 6 other students who made the same request. I say no more than anyone I know, and I still am way too overextended.

I am tired of approaching this problem as if its source is the wishy washy personalities of young (especially female) faculty. It is time to consider the systemic factors.

fraud, in denim said...

Everyone should visit the Crayola site. You can learn your color personality, and what celebrities love your color. Did you know that Bryan Adams favorite crayon is denim? I wrote him a fan letter once. Maybe I should have mentioned denim.

fraud, in denim said...

I have to ask, Kodachrome, Scarlet, and anyone else: is there such a thing as a lusty deomgrapher? I've only met dusty ones.

fraud, in denim said...

demographer, rather.

kodachrome said...

Lime, I wholeheartedly agree. One of my "deceased" friends repeated that line incessantly, "I say no all the time." In fact, for an accomplished scholar, the mere task of saying no to all the incoming requests can take a big chunk out of one's day. Then, on top of that, you get to hear people tell you that you need to "learn" to say no. Great. Thanks! That's why I'm convinced that you absolutely must suck at anything you don't want to do.

Fraud, Sorry. Unlike Scarlet, I can't bear to speculate on the sex lives of demographers. Ick!

Scarlet, I'm not surprised that Plum isn't taken. More Ick!

Navy Blue Blob said...

Scarlet, couldn't you take Plum? You could become Plummy Scarlet or Scarleticious Plum or any number of other combinations. Or maybe not.

Lime's comment about saying no over and over again reminds me of a note I saw on a mailing list recently. A journal was accepting applications for reviewers. I think I had to read it twice to verify I had gotten it right. Why in the world would you want to bring that upon yourself? That is, actually spend time (typing up a letter and updating your CV) just so you could be asked to review?! Those applicants should send me their names so I can forward requests to them.

I guess at another point in my life I did want to get on those lists of reviewers. But wow, how that has changed. I think every day in the last week I have received a reviewing request. It's nuts! And being at the intersection of several fields makes it even harder, because more editors may think of you as a potential reviewer. It's harsh.

So yeah, although I say no quite a bit, I still end up saying yes. But no one ever sees that (except the person you end up annoying with that decision).

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