Thursday, August 09, 2007

Criminal Minds Episode

Watched Criminal Minds episode last night. Mary called me to watch because the promos had mentioned that the episode was about a science fiction author. In the event it was an okay if slightly predictable program, but the part that Mary and I couldn't help reacting to was when they were dealing with a couple of university professors.

In one scene a professor of post-modern literature takes the FBI agents back to her office, and as soon as the office came on screen, Mary and I collapsed into helpless laughter. Not only was her office HUGE (five time regulation size for a prof, at least twice the size of the office of our University President) but it was palatially and tastefully furnished. Obviously, none of the writers nor set designers has ever been to university, because they have obviously never seen a prof's office. Real profs offices are tiny spaces piled high with books, ungraded student papers, and empty coffee mugs. None of my colleagues have expensive art on their walls; they have their diplomas, a couple of conference posters, and a collection of Dilbert (or substitute appropriate subject-specific alternative) cartoons plastered on a bulletin board.

At the end of the scene, the prof calls her personal assistant to pull some files for her -- I nearly choked on my drink at that line because the last round of budget cuts left us with a half secretary shared between all 45 faculty members, and we're the faculty the other faculties all complain is "bloated with support staff". Mary did choke on her drink, laughing at the thought of anyone having "files", but that may be just her. (Though who has paper files any more? You'd just bring it up on the computer.)

In another scene, they stop a second prof in her car, and Mary shouts out, laughing, "Hey, it's a Lexus!." I'm 55, at the top of my game, and last year bought my first new car ever, and it was a Honda Fit. To be fair, my mentor drove a Lexus, but he admitted that he'd made the money to buy it in land speculations, not off his salary -- and that was in the good old days, the lost golden age when government's still considered universities as a good investment....