August 24th, 2018


August 24--Armed Forces

Today's the day everyone comes back to work. I'm not sure what the name for the day is, but I'm sure there's some name for it. We have our big gathering of all the faculty and staff this morning. The name of that shindig is Convocation. Convocation is all about motivating us to get through the semester and describing the most modern and sleek initiatives we are working on. This Year's Model. We get to hear a lot of speeches, and then we have a bunch of meetings. There's juice and pastry.

I already went to a bunch of meetings yesterday, which were kind of interesting. I am in the assistant director role this year, so I get to learn a bunch of new stuff. It's kind of like learning how hot dogs are made. You go, "ewwwww," but then later when you are at the hot dog stand, you're all like "mmmmm--hot dogs!" Unless you are a vegetarian.

I called the human resources department yesterday to see if I was actually granted tenure, as I never got a formal notification. I had been told at the end of last semester that I had been approved for tenure, and got a little lapel pin, but never got the letter.

It's not like in the movies, where you're sitting on pins and needles waiting for the tenure committee to vote, then someone comes to your door and you can't tell from their expression whether it is good news or bad news. And then the phone rings and it's your doctor telling you he needs to see you right away about your test results, and you look out the window and a tornado is coming, and your wife is having an affair with Sy Ableman. At least that's how it was in the only movie I have ever seen where someone was waiting to hear if they got tenure.

So I called, and the HR person looked me up in the system and said, "Yep--you were approved. We're behind in sending out letters." I hung up and looked out the window to see if there was a tornado out there. I discovered that my cubicle doesn't have a window.

not a window

If I had a window, it would be here. Instead, I have a nice picture of a cow. If I had a window, it would look out at another ugly portable building, so I prefer the cow.

I brought souvenirs back from Thailand for a bunch of people at work and will pass them out today. Mostly little wooden bowls with flowers carved out of soap. We found a lady making them at the night market on our last evening in Bangkok, and bought a bunch. I also got a scarf for my boss, and some elephants for everyone else. I'm not a big 'bring stuff back for everyone" type of person, but since pretty much everyone here has brought me something at one time or another, I thought I should reciprocate.

armed forces

Some extra elephants sitting on my desk. Elephants are good luck. If you can figure out the connection between this picture and the subject line of this post, I'll send you an elephant. There are clues.
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