Thursday, June 21, 2007

Non Campus Mentis

Sally was up early this morning, saving me from dragons, raccoons or possible bobcats, which were seen in the neighborhood. She was very understanding about my wanting her to save me silently. On the other hand, it was she who fell asleep in Dean Kamai's office this afternoon during my meeting with the Dean to discuss my faculty advisory capacity for the Southern California Review. New times, new governments, new deans; meeting with Dean Kamei is different from the time I met with another dean after it was suspected that I announced in class that all the buildings on campus were named after crooks. That dean informed me of a building of recent parentage--buildings at universities are never simply built or dedicated, they are also to be endowed before then can be named--its namesake a respectable medical doctor and researcher. "So that means," I said, taking the bait, "that one building on campus was not named after a crook."

"Perhaps," he remonstrated, "you would do better at universities if you looked for more positive interpretations of available data."

I am beholden to universities; they provide an endless sort of romp and circumstance. Which is to say they make great material because they are run by purposeful men and women who are so focused as to become living history lessons for the rest of us. Whether tenured or not, these administrators have a symbiotic relationship with those of us who write. They can't help but nourish dreams that provide us with material. Nature is reputed to abhor a vacuum, but is willing to make exceptions for academics and administrators. And the readers couldn't be happier.

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