Smile and the world smiles with you

I was working with a very smart man yesterday (but don’t tell him that, it just gets ugly) and he showed me these lyrics. Most specifically the “smile while you’re making it, laugh while you’re taking it, even though you’re faking it, nobody’s gonna know”. He did this in the context of me struggling to reconcile the many conflicting aspects of university life. Apparently many people in universities just smile and get a long because, well, no one’s going to know.

The problem is, I’m not really one for that. Today a really smart woman sent me an email about contributing to a conference. Particularly about sharing the amazing work going on in our university. So instead of just going, “yeah let’s do it!” I sent an email to some powers that be to say “Why don’t we do this together as a whole university because we’re awesome!”. The subtext of which was, “why are we all over this? We are doing a massive reform process and the academics are amazing and wonderful and we’ve had successes and failures and we’re learning from those and this is how. So why isn’t someone centrally aware of all the conferences in the world at which we can show how amazing we are? Why didn’t we have in place a communication strategy for the outcomes of this reform? Are we measuring our success? *sigh*”

I’ve actually just reread some old posts about administration and complexities. That’s the bonus of this blog, I can go back and look at my thinking…..you know, this is tricky, and difficult and lacks what I would call sound project planning, but it works at the chalk face. We are smiling, a lot. But I don’t think we are faking it and I don’t think we are taking it. We are all standing up for what we want to do. Academics tell me what they are willing to try and what they want to leave aside (maybe next time?). We are telling central – we need support here, can it be done? And yes, we are still smiling. So even though there was subtext of frustration today in my email, (thankfully it was ignored in the response I got back which was totally civilised!), I’m not faking it. And I’m loving it. (Even the days killing is on my list…..still, there is the love!) Thanks to the smart men and women I work with. You constantly challenge my thinking and approach.

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