Mostly harmless

I keep starting posts and not finishing them.  Partly it’s because I really want to write about Mr. Tea’s illness and the ripple effect of  it on our community, but I hesitate, even in this pseudonymous setting.  It’s their story, not mine.

Also–just to dip into my part of the story for a moment–so many people have been so terrific about stepping up and offering help for Dr. Tea, but at least one person has caused me to view hir in a new, and unflattering, light.  I’d known that this person had weak boundaries and a large tendency to make situations all about hirself, but now I understand that ze can’t be trusted to respect the boundaries of other adults (i.e., Dr. Tea) and that the tendency to make situations all about hirself is not suppressible even in the case of someone else’s major crisis.

And as long as we’re here, I am going to make it all about me for a moment and say that I am realizing that I need to seek out a confidant on the faculty or staff who is not Dr. Tea.  She has been my go-to person for all the issues that crop up in the department during this first year of chairing, and while we are continuing to chat about things (and she is still capable of being pleasantly distracted by small bits of innocuous school gossip), I’ve stopped burdening her with consultations; she has enough to think about.  I’m struck, though, by how much this leaves me with that I can’t discuss with just anyone.  Including, and especially, the ongoing coordinating of her intermittent leave.

And now that I have been chair for six months, I can see that my most frequent adviser, Eveline, is too reserved for me to consult often; when she gives me advice, I can see she worries about whether it’s good advice or not, and she doesn’t have a lot of confidence, administratively speaking, although she is a much-respected person at SA.  The “kitchen cabinet” didn’t really come to pass, although I have informally consulted other chairs from time to time, and the head of the high school (HHS) has been particularly helpful, especially of late.

It’s a good thing that Stubb is back home–well, he’s not actually home now, he’s out performing–but he’s someone safe to talk to when he’s here!


3 responses to this post.

  1. Not to make it all about me, but it’s situations like this that remind me how lucky I am to work with my sister, who is also one of my closest friends.


    • Posted by meansomething on March 11, 2014 at 4:36 am

      Jackie, I don’t think I realized that your sister works at your school! I have got to get something set up to replace Google Reader, because I’m missing a lot of blog posts, including yours.


  2. First — to replace Google Reader, consider NetNewsWire, which I have found helpful (although it’s tethered to a specific computer rather than being accessible via internet through any computer, which I assume was the case with Google Reader).

    Anyway, back to the issue at hand — I too have not wound up with a kitchen cabinet, which has made it a rather lonely year. There’s one English teacher in his 10th year at FGS who has been my go to person for a couple of issues, but of course I can’t talk with him about staffing in general, since part of his job is one of the issues I have to figure out. Dr. Chair, the “real” department head who’s on sabbatical, has been a good person to keep in touch with about long-term issues that will affect her when she returns, but of course the whole point of being on sabbatical is that folks from school don’t bug one, so I try to keep that at a minimum. And I’ve realized that other department heads sometimes have their own agendas that either color their view of the issue I want to talk with them about, or in a couple of cases actually interfere with my own agenda. So it’s been a fairly lonely year in a lot of ways — maybe that’s just one of the things that a chair gets used to?


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