Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Opportunity, Knocking her Over and Out and Uncertain

Recently, Opportunity presented itself to the Matron in the form of a possible new job: Dean.

That's right folks. The Matron has been lost a little in a gridlock, a schemata, a spreadsheet of possibility.

Dean Matron. Dr. Dean Matron. Maybe someday PRESIDENT Dr. Dean Matron (she will never let go of a title).

These all have a lovely, nearly poetic ring. Makes her misty, just considering. And consider she has been, knowing not only that she has a real shot at this particular fiefdom.


As she drifted through her future, Reality -- a fast runner -- quickly caught up with Opportunity.

Yes, she'd make more money. She would converse, hourly, with like-minded people who also hold many academic degrees and know how to construct complex sentences, as opposed to teaching students HOW to construct sentences. And not complex ones.

She would be In Charge! A person of authority. The job? A stepping stone to higher administration . . .you see, she may very well enjoy being President or Queen of a College.


Instead of working 190 days a year, per current faculty contract, she'd be working year-round. All summer with two weeks of vacation like everybody else.

She'd be gone from 8-6, minimum.

There would be limited time for writing.

She would spend most of her intellectual energy working to benefit an institution.

Most of all -- she who goes to campus just two mornings a week - -would lose the hourly freedom that currently defines her life. She can log into her online class and teach until midnight, and spend the afternoon at the dog park if she chooses.

Okay, mostly she drives kids in the afternoons. But the dog park thing sounded a little more daring. But she volunteers in Merrick's classroom, tests new recipes in peace, strolls around the house ALONE for more than twenty minutes and can clean four closest in under an hour in the middle of the day. And read. Yes -- she often does work until midnight. But so far, she's been liking this groove of life.


The Matron made up her mind: she was not applying.

Until . . . a colleague or two called and urged her on. Go forward! Deanship be thine! Then, the competition began. So and So was applying?! Surely, the Matron had her beat! What! Colleague Q considering? A crisis, indeed.

Matron to John: "I should do it. X and B think I'd be great at it. I should."

John: "You have super soft skin and a great body. Will you get naked right now if I ask you?"

Between 9 am and 3 pm? Dream on, darling.

John: "Point made. Just because someone asks you to do something and you'd be good at it, doesn't mean you have to do it."


The Matron pondered that bit of wisdom. John asked again, just in case his theory could be disproved. Sorry again, honey.

Later, Merrick asked his mother what was on her mind.

Merrick: "Mom? Why awe you so sewious?"

Matron: "I'm thinking about applying for a new job. Dean. Dean of the college."

Merrick: "The king?"

Matron: "Sort of."

Merrick (overjoyed): "DO IT DO IT!"

Matron: "But I'd leave in the morning when you go to school and I wouldn't come home until dinner or maybe later."

Merrick: "Weally?"

Matron: "Yup. I'd make more money but the trade off is that I'll be gone."

Merrick: "Will they make you do it?"

Matron: "Nobody will make me. I could choose."

Merrick: "To be gone all day just to be boss of a whole bunch of people?"

When you put it that way, darling. . . . those men in her life? Pretty darn smart. But still. Opportunity has a way of seducing . . .



trash said...

So too, seemingly, does your husband!

JFS in IL said...

Sounds like this is not the right time of life to trade being Boss of Everyone at home (and available for driving, thinking, writing, dog-parking...) with Boss of Everyone at Work. If you are truly Dean material, the opportunity will arise again in a few years when it would be a better fit.

Anonymous said...

Do it. Oh so do it.

Gail said...

What JFS in IL said! In a few years Scarlett will be driving herself to rehearsals and auditions, Merrick will be heading off to college and you'll be ready to be Boss of Everyone at work. You won't even have to decide it you want to, you'll just jump at the chance.

Anonymous said...

"Dean" does rhyme with "Queen." Coincidence? I think not.
I cannot imagine the heft of this decision--on one hand, such a personal opportunity, on the other, such a high cost...

Minnesota Matron said...

Green Girl -- oh no. Dean and Queen. Now I may be completely powerless over the urge to proceed!

Becky Brown said...


As my mom would say, "Well, if nothing else, it is nice to be asked to dance."

I have no other words of wisdom. That work / life balance does not seem to be my particular speciality. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hi. I'm back [do it]. I don't think you people get it--NO MORE PAPERS TO GRADE. Do it.

Anonymous said...

A friend I went to grade school with wound up as one of the deans of a VERY BIG IMPORTANT university long after the nuns would not let her take the college prep track in h.s. because they said she was not "intellectual" enough (she actually liked home ec., especially sewing). She finished college with a bunch of little kids at home and liked it so much she went all the way to a PHD. She was damn good at being dean, and she still loves to sew.

Deb said...

As a fairly new academic, who occasionally thinks of pushing further, I have to say...I am so glad I was available to my children when I was. Today they are all grown, the youngest in his last year of college. There's plenty of time for me to pursue higher ed administration if I choose, and I do think about it. There are even opportunities! I wouldn't take back those years of freedom for anything.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

But. She already spends most of her intellectual energy working to benefit an institution: the Family. Which includes the Diva and dear, sweet Mewwick. In fact, I'm pretty sure the Matron is Queen of her institution and of John's heart (love his methods).

Your time is coming. As already mentioned above, in years to come the Diva will be driving and Merrick will be as self-sufficient as HWMNBN. Opportunity knocks more than once for talent people such as the Matron.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

*talented* people!

Brandy said...

You will have the opportunity again. But your children will only be young now.

However, I love seeing more lady deans! I could say I'm friends with a dean...sort of...well, I read her blog.

Suburban Correspondent said...

Listen to Deb. She has the perspective.