With finals a week away, a hush has come over campus with students more absorbed in their studies than at any other point in the semester. Books that gathered dust for the past fifteen weeks unopened now sit dog-eared and annotated in a tired desktop heap. Final essays about topics that cross the academic spectrum from Islamic fundamentalism to Euler’s Theorem come to life on computer screens from Hamilton Hall to the Nittany Apartments. All-nighters are not out of the question. Lattes turn into espressos. It’s times like these I’m glad not to be a student.
Being an administrator has its perks to be sure. I have a coffeemaker and a secretary. Dictation is amazing. I haven’t written an email in my whole life, having hired a secretary before Al Gore invented that great “series of tubes” known as the Internet. Sometimes, when I’m at home and need something written, I just call my secretary and she gets it done
I also recently found a tutor to teach me Esperanto in my free time. As the president of a major university, I need to converse with people that speak different languages. Easing conversation between different peoples and promoting international understanding were the intentions of L.L. Zamenhof, who created the language in 1887. Currently, I am one of the 100,000 to 2 million people that speak it around the world, but I digress.
Another perk of being an administrator is that I get to print unlimited pages, color or black. There is no 100-page limit (or 200 for you Schreyer nerds). Also, no bandwidth restrictions! I can download until the cows come home or hold Skype conferences for hours. The best perk of all though is not having to take finals.
The whole world of finals and nighttime strolls around Old Main may soon be a thing of the past, if current rumors are to be believed. Secretary Spanier sure has a nice ring to it. Hmm. I don’t know how I feel about the job though. I don’t have any experience with K-12 education. To be honest with you, I don’t really like little kids. They kind of creep me out, what with their little hands and cherubic faces. Maybe this gaping hole in my résumé will be overlooked. Currently, I don’t think I am the best candidate. My money is on that Stanford academic, Linda Darling-Hammond for the position. Time will tell however. Am I change you can believe in?