Tenure, Bitches

I’ve been a university professor for ten years.  Yep, TEN muthafrackin’ years.  And I’m proud to report that, as of May 1st of this year, I finally secured the grandest of academic boons, the much sought-after status of tenured professor.

Ten years is a long time to get to this point. Most professors would have either received it, or been tossed aside. But my path is, shall we say, unusual.  I don’t really have the inclination or the energy to detail my specific struggles right now. Let’s just say that some interesting personalities got in the way of my interesting personality, and all manner of feces impacted all manner of rotary cooling devices. Lawyers and unions and angry words might have been involved at one point; I neither confirm nor deny any rumours to that effect.

But all’s well that ends well. So well, that in ten years all the hair from the sides of my head fell off:

Thug Wat

I’m pleased to share this day with my colleague Dr Anne Konkle, who went through her own struggles. Here’s a photo of Anne receiving her traditional tenure gift from our School. (More on this below). Hers was a puzzle in the shape of an elephant. Such a puzzle is commonly used in the diagnosis and treatment of autistic kids; and Anne does autism research:

Dr Anne Konkle

My tenure gift, chosen by our creative and warm-hearted Director Dr Karen Phillips, was an elephant with a giant globe for an ass. It was also made in India. See, I’m an ass who does “global” health research, and I’m sorta made in India, too:

Now, what’s up with all the elephants? It’s a tenure tradition in our school, originated by our former Director, Dr Linda Garcia, who wanted a symbol for interdisciplinary studies, since our school is the Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences. Linda was inspired by the ancient Indian parable of the elephant and the six blind men.

See, each man touches a different part of the elephant and makes an erroneous conclusion about the nature of the beast. (One touches its leg and concludes that the elephant is a pillar; another touches the trunk and concludes it’s a rope, etc. You get the picture.) Only through interdisciplinary studies, the vanity goes, can an accurate appraisal of the creature be ascertained.

The best part of our School’s informal tenure-granting ceremony, though, was –for me– this great little video created by Dr Phillips. Turn up the sound. If you don’t hear anything, it means Youtube has filed a copyright infringement complaint, the fuckers:

 

That’s all for now.
Associate Professor Raywat Deonandan