April 22 through May 3 are very special days around here, viewed through the eyes of a four-and-three-quarter-year-old, because we match. We all have a four. I am 44, Curious Girl is 4 (and three-quarters), and Politica is 40.
May 4, Curious Girl gets a 5, and we will no longer match. (Although in a few months, I'll match with her, turning 45, and that is a happy-making prospect.) In honor of these very special days, I'm going to use the experience of four-ness as an invention strategy, with a series of posts inspired by four. To open, I'll catch up with three sets of four, and we'll see how the series develops:
Four Things I Like About Being Department Chair
1. Curious Girl says that I am the apartment chair.
2. I get to work closely with our new faculty, who are just so much more accomplished and polished than I was when I left graduate school. That polish doesn't mean that they know their way around the institution or that they know everything there is to know about being successful, and I'm enjoying working with our assistant professors to help them make connections in the discipline and on campus. This is probably the most rewarding part of the job.
3. I get to think about what is not being done. This part will fade, I suppose, when I'm not a new chair anymore, but I like being in a position to think about the structures and systems of the department. I don't want to add a lot of work in the department, but I do want to know that the work we do is important, and that the work we do is the work we want to do. (There are lots of parts of university life that people do because they think They require it, when in fact, They don't.) I hope the department is working a little smarter, not harder, by the time my term as chair is finishing up.
4. I have a view. In my more than a decade at my university, I've never had a window. Now I have tons of them, and when I come back to the office after my night class, the downtown skyline twinkles. It's beautiful.
My Four Favorite Food Markets
1. The Adelaide Central Market
2. The Ann Arbor Farmer's Market (I know, the Madison market is supposed to be better, but I've never been to Madison...)
3. The organic dairy on the north side of the city which makes me forget I live in the midwest on a soft summer evening.
4. The produce stores in New York that have wonderful produce spilling out onto sidewalks.
Four Surprising Things
1. I was quite taken by life in west Texas when we lived there for a while.
2. I had no idea how one's first job was geographically predictive.
3. Imaginary people are really quite entertaining, and I think I will miss our imaginary baby, dog, big sister, and friends when they fade into reality.
4. When I was a child, I decided that I didn't like cherries. What was I thinking?!?! Now I am making up for lost time, and already looking ahead to the arrival of Queen Anne Cherries at our local market. The cherries won't be local, but they will be good.
Wishing all of you fourfold happiness as you contemplate your own fours.....