Friday, April 11, 2003

Rising Expectations

Today was end of term. I can still look forward to a couple of weeks of marking, wrap up meetings, committee work, and other end of term tasks, but today was the last day of classes.

My wife (who teaches in the Management Faculty) came in looking a little down.

"What's wrong?" I asked, having expected to see the usual satisfaction that comes from having concluded yet another successful semester.

"Oh, well, you know that test I said the morning class bombed? Well, I had to hand it back last thing, so they left on kind of a grumpy note."

"Oh, that's too bad," I said. "But you said over half the class failed that test, so you can't really expect them to be overjoyed."

"I know, but it means I only got applause from two of the classes this year."


"Yeah, both of the other classes applauded, but it was, you know, a bit disappointing that it wasn't all three classes."

"Applause?" I asked, a bit incredulous.

"And only one of those was a standing ovation. The other class just kind of sat there when they clapped, you know, and it was quite short. And then they just left."

"Applauded?" Definitely incredulous.

"The MERGE class was good though. That was a standing ovation and it went on quite a long time, and they all came up after and shook my hand and thank me. That felt good. But it was only the one class out of the three."

"A sustained, standing ovation?"

"I must be slipping. I think it was because I was sick so much this term. It put me off my stride, even though I only missed a couple of actual classes. I just didn't have the energy this term."

"You're disappointed because you only got one standing ovation and one other applause?"

"Well, yeah? Don't they applaud for you?"

I didn't know where to begin to answer that one. NO, they don't, doesn't seem to cover it. I not only have never gotten an ovation, I've never met anyone else who has gotten one either, or even heard of such a thing before. And my wife has come to see this as a routine expectation.

And I didn't get nominated for a teaching award in my first and second years of teaching either.

And she has published more than I did this last couple of years, and has received more critical acclaim for her theorizing this year than I ever have in the past decade. (Indeed, the latest edition of Steven L. McShane's Canadian Organizational Behaviour is already citing her work, whereas I haven't made it into any of the big name textbooks yet.)

And she is one fabulous babe.

All this before she has even officially finished her Ph.D.

Must be time for me to retire.