“I am not a committee!”

I’m beginning to feel that the root of all evil is not money but committees. The history department faculty is filled with good, intelligent people with lots of great ideas who care very much about teaching and who want to get things done—yet every time we have a faculty meeting we seem to just spin our wheels talking about the same things over and over, getting bogged down in small details and not making any decisions. To be fair, a large part of that comes from wanting to give everyone a chance to speak and to arrive at a consensus decision, which I think are admirable positions, but I’m starting to understand why some members of the faculty just don’t show up to meetings.

The outcome of yesterday’s committee meeting was that I need to rewrite some parts of my course proposals. I had hoped to have them approved by the department committee today, but if I can get the revisions done soon there is still time to have them approved by the department and sent on to the college-wide committee before the next cycle of classes begins. (I was not alone in that, either: one of my colleagues who is tenured has been at SSC for years also got asked to revise their new course proposals.)

In other news, the fire alarm went off at the beginning of my second World History class, so we all had to tromp out of the building in a cold rain and wait while the firefighters came and checked the building. Fortunately we got the all clear pretty quickly and were allowed back in, but that was an unpleasant interruption to the day.

Despite those setbacks, I’m happy to say that it was a good day otherwise. My World History classes were looking at the geography of the Americas before we start examining the cultures that developed there and both my classes responded very well, even the one that is usually quieter. In Greece and Rome we were talking about the life and death of Julius Caesar and we also had a pretty good class.


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