No Taming This Shrew


Persecuting the Academics

Believe it or not, this isn't a typical rant against Bush or anything! No, just a forecast of my next five weeks.

I'm helping coordinate an 5-week seminar at Turtle U for early modernists (aka My People). Poor souls from all over the country flew in yesterday for more than a month in the mid-Atlantic in the summer. They will live in dorms en suite and they will read their asses off and they will likely all lose 10 pounds under our gentle tutelage. (Fear not, I'm not teaching them -- these are the hard core more historical types who study religious tolerance and lack thereof. I might have to call them all Professor, but I'm trying to avoid that.)

Back when I was Gainfully Employed Megarita, I worked PR and communications for a DC museum (you might know it as "America's Attic" -- not a bad gig having to promote that big boy!). Part of my job was going on study tours and coordinating things on the ground for 15-50 travelers in various parts of the country. I was already tagged as a "theater princess," even at 22, so I've been to lots of the major Shakespeare festivals in North America with America's Attic. Shout out and happy memories to Ashland, OR, and Stratford, Ontario, in the Great Wild North, especially! (Best 1 Henry IV ever was in Ashland, Oregon. I would have followed that man to Agincourt without a whimper. But I digress.)

What I learned from being a tour coordinator is that perfectly able adults will revert to complete retardation or at least their childhoods when given the option. World travelers, former Marine officers, accomplished adults will look to people like me (and try to set me up with their sons, usually) to fix their tickets, get them moved in, rub their feet, whatever.

I didn't expect this from the academics. But I was not disappointed!! People's personalities really shine when it's 93 and high humidity and you're moving into dorms for 5 weeks. I ended up (with my noble colleague and housemate A and lovely boss K) schlepping people's suitcases up the stairs in an attempt to "take the edge off" their imminent meltdowns. It was a nice bit of schadenfreude to see these profs (some not that much further along than myself) settle into dorms when I got to sashay back to my suddenly dazzling and spacious home. Mwahahahaaha.

But, as I learned with the tours in Bath, Ashland, Stratford, et al, nothing solves their worries like cold white wine and snackies. We got them to a reception, handed them satay, and they were happy little brains, schmoozing and boozing. I'm considering bringing a thermos of chardonnary with me throughout their stay in case of emergency.