Thursday, 15 April 2010

Easter Vacation

It is the quietest day of the year.

The academic staff are away
en masse
at international conferences
or doing field work in foreign parts.

This means that I can do the following:

Admire the pink blossomy beauty of the campus.

Smile sweetly at the lady behind the cash desk
when she scowls at me.

Chat up the guy in charge of the conference
until he lets me eat the jelly beans
which have been put out for the delegates.

Admire the tiny dog called Stanley
with a diamond collar and little grey hoodie
who arrives tucked under the arm of a (male) student.

Pimp my examinations spreadsheet
with coloured tabs.

Listen to music!
In my office!
On my sparkly green iPod!

Wave to the tiny student
who sits like a sea sprite
on the rock outside the front door
having a break from cataloguing hand-axes.

Listen to the lovely lady from Finance
tell me about her Caribbean cruise.

Go to lunch with a visiting Chinese academic
and hear his in-depth analysis
of UK steel and coal production.

Water the Head of Department's
much loved collection of plants.
I have only managed to kill one.

Discuss football
(about which I know very little)
with the Newcastle supporter
in his black and white Magpie shirt.

Wish I could hear the noisy footsteps
of the academic who has just turned 40
as he arrives in my office
with yet another cunning plan
to spin money out of thin air.

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