From MSNBC (and via Dan’s blog) comes this story, “Meetings make us dumber, study shows.” It’s kind of an interesting story, I guess. Dan makes a point about meetings and writing peer review groups, but my first thought was about the meetings I go to in my life as a happy academic type. Three quick thoughts on all that:
- One of the things that really surprised me when I first started down the tenure-track was how much of my job didn’t really have much to do with teaching or scholarship. Lots and lots and lots of meetings, and an hour here and an hour there really starts to add up fast.
- In my role as the Interim WPA and the coordinator of our writing program, I go to even more meetings this year. And if I’ve learned anything about my year in this duel administrative role (and I have certainly learned a lot) it is that I do not want to become a full-time administrator and spend even more time attending meetings.
- Having said all that, most of the meetings that I go to aren’t really “brain storming” sessions. Mostly, I think most of my meetings are about following procedures and policies, about “governance” of the faculty role in the department, etc., etc. I mean, sure, there is some brainstorming about things, but at most of those meetings, people throw around some ideas and then they go off and think about those ideas for a while, and then they come back to vote on them.