• Confessions of a Community College Dean

    In which a veteran of cultural studies seminars in the 1990s moves into academic administration and finds himself a married suburban father of two. Foucault, plus lawn care.


Silly Season

'Tis Spring – almost finals – and you can tell on campus. The characteristic signs are there:

April 30, 2009

'Tis Spring – almost finals – and you can tell on campus. The characteristic signs are there:

  1. People walk much faster, and with visibly pinched expressions.
  2. Student complaints about instructors are suddenly skyrocketing, and expressed with earnest urgency.
  3. I've already inadvertently interrupted a few couples in the midst of, uh, expressing their couplehood, usually in stairways. What it is about stairways, I honestly don't know.
  4. The rubber chicken circuit is back!
  5. Lots of random sneezing, as every tree blossomed in the same 24 hours. It's getting to the point where I can identify certain people by their sneezes. They're like fingerprints.
  6. Last-minute consultant visits for program reviews. Somehow, May always catches people by surprise. In my experience, it typically follows April.
  7. Apocalyptic rhetoric at meetings. That usually peaks in the Thanksgiving-to-Christmas rush and between Spring Break and Finals.
  8. The smokers linger longer outdoors.
  9. Faculty have retreated to their offices, where they disappear under herniating piles of grading. I have occasional visions of some future archeologist finding the skeleton of an English professor surrounded by plastic-covered papers full of “could of” and “alot” and “Being that...”
  10. Those last few purchases of the fiscal year always require multiple budget-line moves, each with three or four levels of approval. They're sort of like logic problems gone horribly wrong. A train with fourteen passengers leaves Chicago heading North at 60 miles per hour. How long before the passengers drown in Lake Michigan?

How does Spring play out on your campus?


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