Wednesday, 24 November 2010

The New Principal visits The Department

MrsM wakes up at 4.30am
and wonders if she booked the catering.

MrsM spends an unreasonable amount of time
trying to decide whether
a contemporary wooden necklace
is more appropriate than
a shimmery necklace of mother of pearl.
She takes both.

The Head of Department
is anxious about his tie
because the knot is slipping.
MrsM assures him that it is not noticeable.

The Lady Professor
is worried about her skirt.
It is a beautiful purple silk
with a clingage issue.
MrsM assures her that it is not noticeable.

The Head of Department reviews the presentation
and makes changes at the very last moment.
MrsM shuts her eyes and prays
that he will not delete it accidentally.

At 9am the Principal arrives with the Dean
and finds the whole Department
sitting expectantly in the Board Room,
name badges neatly attached.

MrsM is thrilled to discover her photo
at a feature point of the presentation.
She resists the temptation to whisper "That's mine!!"
She notices that the Principal smiles.
Well...she is sure he did.

As the Principal leaves the Board Room
to tour the Department
MrsM's best friend from catering
is waiting around the corner
with the trolley of coffee and biscuits.
MrsM resists the temptation to hug him.

MrsM briefly panics when she remembers
the Daniel Craig feature wall
in the Departmental Office but knows that
it is part of the Student Experience.

MrsM wonders if the Principal notices
the smell of furniture polish,
or the impressive display of posters
or the immaculate noticeboards.

The Principal leaves promptly at 11am
and the Head of Department breathes out slowly
for the next hour and a half.

The Principal writes to thank the Department
and praises the evidence of excellence
in teaching, external engagement and research.

There are exceptionally difficult times ahead
for Higher Education and particularly Geography.
The Department will need friends in high places.

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