TITLE: Two, to Close the Week
AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford
DATE: April 06, 2007 6:20 PM
... to the Sixth
My dad turned 64 yesterday. That's a nice round number in
the computing world, though he might not appreciate me
pointing that out. It's hard for me to imagine him, or me,
any different than we were when I was a little boy growing
up at home. It's also hard for me to imagine that someday
soon my daughter might be thinking the same about the two
of us. Perhaps I need a bigger imagination.
This is the time of the academic year when folks seeking
jobs at other institutions, in particular administrative
promotions, begin to learn of their good fortune and to
plan to depart. Several of my colleagues at the university
will be moving on to new challenges after this academic
In a meeting this week, one such colleague said something
that needed to be said, but which most people wouldn't say.
It was on one of those topics that seems off limits, for
political or personal reasons, and so it usually just hangs
in the air like Muzak.
Upon hearing the statement, another colleague joked, "Two
months. You have two months to speak the truth. Two months
to be a truth teller."
It occurred to me then that this must be quite a liberating
feeling -- to be able to speak truths that otherwise will
go unspoken. Almost immediately on the heels of this
thought, it occurred to me just how sad it is that such
truths go unspoken. And that I am also unwilling to speak
them. Perhaps I need greater courage, or more skill.