Monday, October 12, 2015

This was going to be "A thing that happened" but it was overshadowed by my university

I'll never get used to writing on a delay, but until I physically have primary computer I worry about the blog going dark so I'm spacing things out in an effort to make it so there's a steady content stream.

Even if that content isn't always the most interesting (e.g. something seems to be in my walls.)

I've been recommending Jeannine Diddle Uzzi's translation of Catullus (made in collaboration with poet Jeffrey Thomson because if you want to translate poetry right it helps to have a poet on hand) lately because opportunities keep coming up, talking about lost work someone brings up Obscenities in the Greek and Roman Languages (by the same Librarian who wrote the salacious* The Twelve Caesars) and that led to Catullus being mentioned because he's one of the reasons we still know some decent profanity.

Before that it was talking about mental vs physical illness, because she helped me through some very hard times and I figured I'd throw in, "By the way, her translation of Catullus is out now."

Don't remember what it was before that.

So I went to her facebook page, and asked if I could get a signed copy because ... wahoo!, that's why.

While there I read some of the stuff on her page, a lot was about her getting a new position at my university.  You may recall me mentioning, I hope with enough profanity that Catullus would approve, that she was fired (technically illegally retrenched) without cause last year on Halloween.  It was a part of the university's then-current policy of self immolation.

She didn't get her old job back, unfortunately.  So Classics is still dead at this time.  She was hired as Provost and VP for Academic Affairs.  I don't even know what that means.  But I do know that bad provots were a problem in the past and a lack of attention paid to or care given about academic affairs (it's a university for fucks sake) is the single biggest problem that the institution has had.

So hopefully she can work on salvage and improvement, because we used to be a great school.  Something the people tearing it down never seemed to understand is that the University of Southern Maine was far better than it had any right to be.  An underfunded public school should never have had teachers that good or programs that impressive.  The people they ditched weren't there for the money because they deserved (and had what it took to get) higher paying jobs elsewhere, they were there for the students and the university.

That kind of thing can't be bought back, though if we can get back the people who were booted, that'll get it back.  But that's probably too much to hope for.

Even if we could convince people to hire them all back (or it was ordered in court) a lot of people need to eat.  After getting shit-canned they looked for new jobs

In March Jeanine started work as Director of Faculty Programs at the Associated Colleges of the South.  USM is not in the South.  They wanted her to move to, I think, Georgia.  Since the job didn't actually require her to be there in person she managed to get them to let her stay in Maine, but if she had been forced to move to, I think, Georgia, she wouldn't have been able to simply move back.

As it was she had already sold her home before getting the news that there might yet be a future for her at USM and needed to find a place (or places) for her entire family to crash between then and when her getting the position was finalized because she couldn't just go out and get a permanent place to live on the possibility of a job here.

Anyway, the Associated Colleges of the South lost a great employee, though they did get some solid months out of her, and for the first time in forever something happened that gives me hope for USM.  In these past years the closest we had to good news was that bad things had been prevented, delayed, or reduced.

So, you know how it says in the title that this was just going to be "A thing that happened"?

One of the comments about her getting back at USM was
The Phoenix rises. You rock, Jeannine!

Fuck yeah.  USM's primary campus is in Portland.  Portland is a city that had a habit of being burned down.  (There were some wars, and some accidents.)  The seal has a phoenix rising from the ashes** and the only thing written other than "City of Portland, Maine" is "Resurgam" across the top.  Resurgam means I (feminine singular) shall rise again.

This made me think that the defunct USM Classics Club needs new t-shirts something along the lines of "We shall rise again," perhaps with a subtitle of something like "no matter how long it takes"

This has problems.  "We shall rise again," is easy.  ResurgÄ“mus

Problem: I've definitely forgotten whatever words would be needed for no matter how long it takes or equivalent, so I stood up with purpose and asked the world, "Where the fuck is my Cassell's" and started to search.

And that is a thing that happened.

I'm open for suggestions on what should be the sub-motto under RESURGEMUS.  Preferably something more optimistic than "Eventually... I hope" (Aliquando ... spero***)


* When you work in the greatest library of your time you know all the dirt and all the smears.

** Don't bother looking up the seal.  Even though I know it's supposed to depict a phoenix rising from the ashes, it still looks like just a random bird to me.  It'll probably look the same to you.

*** That's actually "At some point ... I hope," because I'm not sure how to render "eventually" more directly.

1 comment:

  1. Good news is good! May a good Latin tag be good as well. :)