14 May 2007

We're Home

  • We have returned from a very fun weekend in Grad School City. "There are a lot of things to climb on here," Curious Girl observed. We got to meet the brown dogs, we moseyed around (well, CG and I moseyed while Politica got all geeky in a reunion of Fancy Public Pants Fellowship holders, and then today Politica and CG moseyed while I did some work in the archives).
  • I love working in archives. It's very soothing. I don't do it very much, but I do like it.
  • I was looking at old minutes, among other things. People don't write minutes like they used to. Or, they don't archive minutes like they used to. Note to self: find department minutes written in verse--I think this has happened twice in my current department--and make sure they end up in our university archives. I found minutes that, while regrettably unrelated to my research question, contained minutes of a conversation that erupted in a committee on teacher education. It went something like this, coming after several rambling paragraphs in praise of the most senior committee member's trip down memory lane, chronicling all the things that the department had done which finally led to the establishment of a program that was clearly marginalized in the larger department, but beloved of the committee members. Then they turned their attention to high school teachers and relations with the university committee:
    • Professor 1: Well, what do you want our committee to do?
    • Professor 2: I want to see what's going on out there!
    • Professor 3: We need to have a focus.
    • Professor 2: I want to take them [high school teachers] to lunch!
    I didn't actually transcribe the conversation as it wasn't relevant to my article, but I was mightily amused by this. Perhaps you had to be there. But one of my friends does say, still, that the best thing writing directors can do is get out on campus and schmooze. Lunch is a great political strategy
  • Curious Girl gave us Mother's Day presents when we got home today. (I guess around here it's Mothers' Day!) She was all excited when she came in the house and saw the wrapped presents (sent home from school) on the table. "Happy Mothers' Day to you!" she sang. "Let's go do it on the couch." So we went to the couch. "Can I open it for you?" she asked, "because I made it for you, so it's mine, except it's for you." I said she could open it. So she started opening it it, and Politica came in. "Hey, those are our presents. Shouldn't we get to open them?" I allowed as how I'd said CG could open it. "I am teh fun mama," I reminded Politica. CG chimed in, "She is a great mama!" So there you have it.
  • Curious Girl is teh fun travel companion. For about half an hour today, in the car, we played that she was a puppy named Claire and I was her person, and we played fetch. Except for the little while when she minded my baby while I had to do something else. "Like Carl the Dog," I said. "Except I'm not Carl. I'm Claire."
  • I know Mother's Day is not easy for many people. So I wish gentleness for everyone reading this, no matter what their relationships to mothers and children, wished for, found, lost, here, not here.

    Magpie said...

    "minutes written in verse" - I love that! I work for a small arts non-profit, and am responsible for the minutes. I HATE doing it, although over time (it's been more than 10 years), I've gotten it down to bland nothingness because every time I put something vaguely controversial in the minutes, my boss takes it out (some lawyer taught him to never say anything but the bland reportage). Anyway, I've got a folder on my desk, looking at me balefully, because I haven't done the March minutes yet. I think maybe I should try verse. Haiku might be good.

    Rev Dr Mom said...

    Glad you had a good Mothers' Day.

    Arwen said...

    Welcome back! I'm glad your holiday went well.

    I have a vaguely tight-laced love of doing minutes, related in my psyche to my grade-school love of underlining things in my notes (in an opposing colour of pen), a habit which only ever lasted the first two weeks of September. I also like tabs which colour code. Ongoing organizational fervour I don't have: but sporadic good intentions, or minutes, are something I'm really good at.

    When I do minutes, I really enjoy the dusty formality that is an overlay to the passions and boredom and squabbling that happen in meetings. I like the (possibly meaningless to everyone else) elegance of appreciation in minutes: a bunch of folks saying thanks is different than "The Committee extends its thanks to Member X for her hard work on sourcing our pedicures."

    You know. It's lovely.

    I also sort of enjoy the fact that no one reads minutes. Skims, yes. Reads, no. Which means you can embed observations or wit on the sly, hiding a moment of connection and reward for the poor soul in the future sent to find out the reason for a strange policy. Notes to the future.

    PPB said...

    I would really love to have meeting minutes in verse.

    Arwen said...

    I mean travel, not holiday. Since you were doing business and leisure.