Meeting Recap

The 6-hour Zoom meeting went well. I was one of the 3 people who attended through Zoom. Everybody else was in person.

The meeting went particularly well during the mental health workshop that I happily muted. That did wonders for my mental health.

Unfortunately, the really important part where the Dean was talking about the budget sucked bullets because the sound suddenly disappeared. I figured out that budget news were bad because a) I could see the reaction of the people in the audience and b) budget news are always bad. I think that the day a university administrator says, “we have good news regarding the budget,” we will realize that his mental health is beyond rescue.

By the way, I figured out why the university budget is always in such terrible shape. Imagine that you get your salary once a month, and whatever you don’t spend by the end of the month simply gets taken away. Every month it’s the same thing. A clean slate that wipes off the previous month. How would that impact your financial behavior? Would you make savings and try to be careful about your spending? Of course, not. It makes absolutely no sense to be careful and provident in this setup. You’ll buy a ton of little things you don’t need, would never have anything to cover unexpected emergencies, and wouldn’t be able to make a big purchase.

This is how our budget works. It gets wiped out on June 30 and starts with a clean slate on July 1. I have no reason to be careful and think long-term. Departments that are careful aren’t rewarded, and those that are profligate aren’t punished. It’s truly the dumbest system imaginable. It can only lead to unreasonable, stupid spending for the sake of spending.

Going Mental

The Chairs’ retreat includes an obligatory session on “mental health.” Why not sexual health? Nutritional? Podiatric? Back pain issues, which are intensely relevant to most professors? Vocal cord health? Eye health?

Nobody ever talks about these health issues in the work environment, no matter how widespread and serious they might be. Yet it’s “mental health” that’s supposed to have some imaginary stigma attached to it even though people can’t stop discussing it.

The Depth

It so happens that in spite of being on vacation, today I have to participate in a 6-hour-long Zoom meeting for work. (It’s a department Chairs’ retreat).

All this time, Klara is entertaining herself completely on her own, with no screens involved, and having immense fun. She had a fashion show for her dollies, built them a tree house under the table, and is now taking them to lunch at a restaurant she constructed out of armchair cushions. She’s so immersed in her play that I left a whole bag of jelly beans in full view and she isn’t even touching it.

This is what I mean by developing a healthy human subjectivity that has enough depth to offer intellectual and emotional sustenance for a person.

It’s All a Scam

Everything about this administration is a scam:

And it’s just one thing of a million. What this administration is doing to Ukraine is beyond words. But strangely, nobody is accusing it of colluding with Russia. Even more strangely, nobody even notices it’s happening. Ukraine only mattered when it could be used to smear Trump. Just like black lives only matter when they can be used to support some leftist talking point.