Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Administrative Boredom

Now that it has cooled down, nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus) lend color to the garden. This is one small plant I would love to grow throughout summer, but it it is just too hot. Nasturtiums remind me of another life. Their scent trigger the mental time machine, and I see myself as a little girl all surrounded by nasturtiums my mother grew in our backyard. I remember tasting them; all parts of the plant are edible, and the leaves add a tangy note to a salad. At least nasturtiums grow well in the cool season, but I had to give up on lilacs, and delphiniums.

The weather is wonderful during the day, pleasant and warm, but I have spent the last days in my office taking care of all kind of administrative stuff. It is this old story - so many have this idea of the professor who teaches only so few hours and has the greatest life ever in their head. I do enjoy the flexibility of my schedule. I teach my classes, but otherwise it is relatively easy to schedule a dentist appointment during the day or what else. But on the other hand the work never ends. And I am not talking about research and writing, but the tedious administrative stuff, such as writing never ending letters of recommendation, committee work or putting out fires, such as the student returning from a year abroad suddenly receiving less credit because the Registrars office all of the sudden decides to do so, before letting the study abroad advisor know. This causes in return the student about to graduate to freak out in your office. So let me get that water bucket to put out this fire, meaning writing numerous emails and coming up with new guidelines. And tomorrow I am loosing another writing day because of meetings. I have to make a point to get out and take a stroll to smell the air. And Benazir Bhutto faces again house arrest - what a concept, house arrest, like a desperate but futile attempt to halt time. I am off to bed to browse first through the Thompson & Morgan seed catalog for relaxation. I wonder if they have any nasturtiums I could grow...

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