the Mammal Chronicles: May 2007

when it comes right down to it, ya lactate or ya don't.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Becoming your Mother

I've long feared the folk wisdom that says you are destined, for better or worse, to become your mother. I've also recognized that it is often true, but lately I'm finding that it's not only true with your literal mother but with your professional "mother" as well:

  • I've often snickered about fellow professors who have the professorial ailment that compells them to talk endlessly and often obliviously. I'm simultaneously disdainful, and in rare cases where they are eloquent or insightful, envious of the tendency
  • Yesterday I went to a meeting to conduct a focus group about a proposed new academic program -- not, mind you, a program even remotely in my area of expertise
  • As I listen to the recording of this meeting today, I note uneasily that I'm talking as much as members of the group who are supposed to be providing feedback
  • While I'm distressed that I'm speaking so much (granted it's generally in answers to direct questions, but still, I should be redirecting and listening more), I'm also simultaneously impressed with myself that I'm speaking so confidently and expertly about something I knew nothing about merely months before
  • Then it occurs to me that I've also acquired the additional yet related professorial disease of being impressed with myself.


  • Sunday, May 06, 2007


    I am sick. Burning, seething nasal passages and throat raw and scratchy sick. Yesterday I thought I was suffering from spring allergies, but I thought wrong. By nighttime I could feel my head melting.

    This is the fifth or sixth cold I've had since December, when I had three or four of them in quick succession. My immune system is clearly not up to par and that's nothing new, though six colds in six months is surely a new record. In the past I'd be apt to blame it on unhealthy living, but despite the fact that I don't really exercise, I take better care of myself now than I ever have, so instead I think I will blame it on my mother who never breastfed me. A nice convenient excuse by which I can neatly absolve myself of responsibility. Maybe I should start exercising instead of blaming. Maybe. Right now though, I'm going to bed.