Sep 20, 2011

My Other Life

Posted by Tonia at Tuesday, September 20, 2011
By Tonia

 “Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it.” Katharine Whitehorn

Unless you’ve read my bio you probably would never guess that my day job is teaching at a university. Yep, even have one of those PhD things. Allow me to share with you my life in academia …

First of all, my office in no way resembles faculty offices in the movies - which are the size of small libraries with comfy leather chairs, beautiful volumes of books lining the walls, and a window that overlooks the loveliest part of campus.  Oh, no. My office is the size of a small closet. Boxes of notes and articles are hap-hazardly thrown around so that finding anything on my desk is like an archeological dig. And the view? The parking garage.

Aw, yes, and speaking of parking….unlike the real world, parking permits on university campuses do not guarantee you a parking place – they’re simply a license to hunt. I usually park illegally. This tends to get my car booted. Unlike cute car bras, car boots are ugly ball-and-chains that impair auto mobility. I don’t recommend them.

When you teach for a university there is also this thing called tenure. Highly desired, tenure creates the difference between being jr. faculty and sr. faculty –- kind of like the difference between being a Brownie and a Girl Scout. Well, not really, but close enough. Actually, there is a lot of pressure to get tenure because, if you don’t, you’re fired. The reality is that even God Almighty probably wouldn’t get tenure – after all, He only had one publication. And it wasn't even in a refereed journal.

As a rule professors are known to be a bit narcissistic and temperamental. You’ve heard the joke about how many professors it takes to screw in a light bulb? “Just one – he holds the bulb up to the socket and waits for the world to revolve around him.” Fortunately the faculty in my department are delightful – and have great senses of humor. We have a mechanical dinosaur that we send into each other’s offices with obnoxious messages in speech bubbles taped to its mouth. We have a skeleton that makes a Halloween appearance on the toilet in one of the women’s restroom stalls. We’ve even used crime scene tape to cover teaching podiums. And once someone (**whistling and looking away**) sat a life size blow up doll in a colleague’s class.

We even have ongoing theoretical discussions about why the chicken crossed the road. Yes, this is important research - I worked hard on my degree to be able to ponder such things. I’ll share a few of our thoughts with you here:

FROM PSYCHODYNAMIC THEORY

The chicken crossed the road because her Id said "Whoa, cool, go for it, Baby" and her Superego was on vacation.......

FROM COGNITIVE THEORY

The chicken crossed the road due to her irrational belief, “I am unlovable if I do not cross the road.” Ironically, becoming road kill was what made her truly unlovable.

FROM BEHAVIORAL THEORY

The chicken wasn't really sure why she had crossed the road - she just heard a bell and had to go......

So what does all this have to do with a girlfriends’ party? I have no damn idea, but here is Anna’s fabulous chicken salad recipe in honor of our research on chickens’ road behavior. Enjoy your girlfriends and no fowl moods allowed!

Anna's Chicken Salad - serves 2 generously or 3 skimpishly

2 small thawed & diced chicken breasts  
1 tbls minced garlic
1/4 tbls cracked pepper
1/4 tbls sea slat
1/4 chopped red onion
Saute in pan until chicken is cooked & onions are carmelized. Let cool.

Chop 2 celery sticks (rinsed with head & butt cut off)
Dice 1 large roma tomato
Dice 4 large strawberries
Put in bowl & mix in 4 tbls of real mayo & 1/4 tbls of celery salt. I mix with a fork to avoid any smooshing. 

When chicken mixture is cool, add to fruit & mayo mixture. Do not drain the chicken; there are favors in the juice. Stir thoroughly with a fork & chill in fridge.

When ready to serve you can top with green onion or nuts or both :)

When building your sandwich add iceburg lettuce for a cool crunch. Enjoy!

5 comments:

Bodacious Boomer on September 22, 2011 at 8:44 AM said...

Catastrophized- I like that.

AnnieOK on September 27, 2011 at 11:54 PM said...

Dr. C- If I paraphrased your take on the theories stated above, must I give you credit or was it Dr. M-C who came up with them and you stole them, without referencing her??? Uh, hu, I have come to recognize writing style and catastrophized wreaks of her!!!

AnnieOK on September 27, 2011 at 11:57 PM said...

P.S. from experience, I highly recommend one avoids emailing the Queen Poobah and asking her "WTF" is up with this new policy.

Tonia on September 28, 2011 at 10:36 AM said...

Our theoretical perspectives are a collective effort - and, frankly, I forgot who wrote what but you could be right!

growingmygirls on October 4, 2011 at 11:06 PM said...

Hey, read this when you first posted it and it cracked me up! I wish I worked in your office! I want the electronic dinosaur sending me messages, please, please.... And I'll never tell a chicken joke again, I'd be too worried about my motives!

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