Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hanging In, Barely

I thought I should post just to let everybody know I'm alive. I'm behind after all of the drama of the last week, and I hope to god that I can get caught up this weekend. I've pretty much accepted that this week is a wash, that grading will not get done, that I can't really concentrate, and that you know, that's ok. I just feel totally wiped out and exhausted and at loose ends. This too shall pass, blah.

Anyway, I've got nothing really to report. Coffee is delicious, I've got a doctor appointment in a couple of hours, and things are progressing with the CTTCCFPD, in spite of the first paragraph. A vote has been forced - like a binding one - about how we move forward, and we'll be doing an actual vote by paper ballot - binding - so the results of that will be known in like a week. I fantasize that the whole thing will go totally smoothly, though I suspect there will be one part that doesn't pass, so one more vote before a proposal goes forward after this one. Still, I the whole process does seem to be moving along. I'll just be happy when decisions have been made. Because seriously: I just want us to decide - whatever the outcome.

In a funny moment in the meeting where we voted on how things would move forward, the colleague who threatened the entire process a few weeks ago expressed surprise that our committee hadn't met again before we reached this time of decision as a department. As if our committee would just keep meeting and meeting, even though we've met multiple times and these issues have been on the table with the whole department for months. Even though I did consult with the committee via email about a question and he at first did not respond at all, and then when he did he expressed his intractability about his own position: "I don't see what feedback students could give that would change my ideas about curriculum." Yeah, I was going to go out of my way and take my time and the time of the other committee members to meet with that person. Totally.

I mean, he wasn't happy with the direction that things were heading, and so clearly we should all go back to the drawing board, right? We would just continue meeting until we all retired, never reaching a moment of decision. Clearly I couldn't do anything to improve parts of the proposal based on feedback that I got (from all of our colleagues and from students) without running it by him first. I let the comment go by without comment (though I'm sure some amusement registered on my face), but in my head I was entirely gleeful that this colleague thought that I was supposed to continue to consult with him and to treat him like a collaborative member of the committee and to beg for his opinions after he went outside of the committee process and tried to ruin all of the work I'd done with some bullshit ideas that were all about obstructing forward movement and dismissing the mountains of work I'd been doing. I'm supposed to be just that nice, apparently, and just that much of a doormat.

Uh, no. He had his chance to be part of the process, instead of working with me and others to come to a reasonable compromise, he overplayed his hand, and well, from that point I really had no interest in seeking him out. Those are the breaks. It's so funny when people underestimate me in this way. I think it's that there is this assumption that because I'm so generally not about power plays and intrigue that I'm above those things. Ah, silly people. Just because I think those things suck doesn't mean that I can't or won't do them, nor does it mean that I'm not really freaking good at them.

I think what surprised him most was that what I presented was actually a compromise that addressed the heart of his concerns (thus taking the teeth out of much of his argument - and let's just note that he never offered any similar compromise nor expressed any interest in coming up with one). Keeping him out of the loop for the past few weeks wasn't about ignoring his position - it was about refusing to continue to entertain him and those who were disrespectful to me and to others who disagreed with him. I never intended not to address his position. Being treated like I was part of some evil and self-serving coalition did not sit well with me because it was never true. I always thought that there should be compromise at the center of the work that we're doing, and I proceeded that way in spite of people attempting to put me in a false position, and in spite of the fact that I took that really freaking personally.

So anyway, that's the latest. Let's keep our fingers crossed that things move forward smoothly from this point.


GP said...

I assume this is related to the "I need my own gigantic penis" post? Because I think this is AWESOME, and you are clearly AWESOME for using your penis when necessary. I've been mentally playing that post back to myself in every mtg with my advisor for the last month or so, and it makes then ever so much more bearable. All hail to Crazy's penis! (So what if it's not attached?)

Susan said...

I just think you are awesome to have managed this so well!

I hope you have a peaceful weekend when you can catch up with work and yourself.