Saturday, May 06, 2006

Graduation Day

Today is graduation at Miami (and it looks like we're having a really conservative commencement speaker this year- yikes). I have attended the "divisional recognition ceremony" the other years I've been here (not the big one in the stadium with the big speaker), but I'm going to skip it this year. My scholarly-looking doctoral regalia will have to stay in the closet for one more year. There is no policy requiring anyone to go and the turn-out is definitely reflective of that- hardly any faculty show up. We also have a departmental dinner for graduating students- I am skipping that this year, too. I think because I have been on research leave, I feel sort of disconnected from things right now. We have also been having some unpleasant departmental politics lately (even worse than usual), so that makes the whole thing less appealing, too. I guess it's the same everywhere, but I have to wonder if ours isn't a bit worse than most. From reading some of the other academic blogs, I can see there are annoying politics and things going on everywhere, but how do you all feel about it? Is it just an occupational hazard (a minor annoyance) or do you find it really interferes with your job? I'm not sure where I am on that scale, but I'm drifting toward the interferes-with-my-job end of the spectrum...

NOTE (added Monday 5/8): If you know me and know my department, keep in mind that I am not casting aspersions on anyone and these are merely my feelings and interpretations of the situation in my department. I am feeling disenfranchised, so my whole view of things may be skewed accordingly.


Seeking Solace said...

I know what you mean. The faculty got a memo the other day which stated that we cannot hug students when they receive their degrees. (My college is small, so the students get the walk across the stage. How stupid is THAT??

Addy N. said...

ss: that is LAME! Do you why they started doing that? (what their thinking was?) At the divisional ceremonies here, each student walks across the stage, too. That's the one I usually go to.

Seeking Solace said...

My college is really small; there are only about 1500 students in the total population, so you can imagine the size of graduation. It’s a two year institution.

The reason was that someone felt that excess hugging would take up too much time, thus making the whole ceremony take too long.

USJogger said...

At my university, there is a requirement that everyone go to one graduation ceremony per year. But, of course, it doesn't have any teeth, so mostly the people that go are
a) the junior faculty, who are afraid that the dean is taking notes for their tenure files
b) the grinds, who do stuff that's required just because it's required, and
c) the faculty who want to observe the special moment for their favorite students, even if the students wouldn't notice or care if they were there.
So far, I've fit into all three categories, but from now on, only into the last two.

As for departmental politics, all I can say is that it might get better. In my first year, the departmental politics were so bad that the dean actually had a meeting with the new faculty to warn us about it, and to tell us not to take it personally. But six years and multiple retirements and resignations later, we have a pretty quiet department.