I probably shouldn’t admit that during my 20 years in Bloomington I have never attended the Little 500. It is no defense but I wonder how many of my colleagues in History and other departments have. So I finally went this past weekend (and didn’t run into any other faculty as far as I could tell). I may never miss another one. It is really a great sporting event. As you doubtless know by now, both the Collins women and men put on valiant efforts, overcoming collisions to achieve entirely respectable results (12th and 23rd respectively). Happily the level of inebriation I encountered in the bleachers was well below what I’d expected. Only once was I concerned that a fellow spectator might fall over me (or worse). Cycling myself to and from the races I did of course see the usual plethora of parties including that curious group that enjoys drinking while perched on porch roofs. Natural selection I call it. Anyway, it was a glorious weekend and two exciting races. Congratulations to all the riders. We also held the first Little 500 alumni brunch Saturday morning in the Coffee House. Alumni turnout was light (5) but I’d like to keep doing this and maybe see it grow.
We are also of course in the midst of the poorly-named dead week. Things lighten up a bit for me at this point but every student I talk to complains about papers to finish and exams to take (that aren’t supposed to be given this week by the way, but don’t tell your instructors I told you so). At Collins the week will end with a bang including a Town Hall Meeting, the Faculty Curriculum Committee Meeting, a Fee Committee Meeting, the Publications Release Party, the Sustainable Food Committee’s Last Supper, and the BOEP dinner.
The Town Hall (Th at 11) meeting is intended to address discontent about the Awards selection procedure. I’ll confess that I’ve always been a bit mystified by it. The staff gets together and attempts collectively to evaluate 500 or so Collinsites without any specific criteria. One major question is whether to award involvement in paid positions in the same way as involvement in non-paid ones. So hopefully we can come up with a better system. I’d be happy to have student involvement in the selection process, though of course that raises the problem (if indeed it is a problem) of awards selection becoming something of a popularity contest.
The FCC (F at noon) will evaluate the BOEP course proposals for next spring; don’t forget if you are going to be there to present a course. Fee Committee (F at 3) will consider the state of the budget and possibly new methods for constructing budgets. The Publications Release Party (F at 5) will of course celebrate the arrival (and hard work behind) the Dancing Star, Lantern, and Pipe and Barrow. The CSFC for its Last Supper (F at 6) is planning a menu that emphasizes several sustainable food categories: local, organic, and non-industrial meat. We’ll have posters and literature as well as food prepared by the collaborating incoming and outgoing co-chairs (and others). BOEP meanwhile is planning a dinner chez moi on Saturday, though we are still working out the details.
Sunday I may do something radical and have a day without Collins.
I don’t know if there will a Columns during finals week. If not, so long. See about half of you again next year and best wishes to all for a wild summer.
Professor of History
Director, Collins LLC