Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Pyrate as a Dean

There is a tide that comes in the affairs of men, and when taken at the flood, leads on to fame. Poor Pete somehow got stuck on the Shoals of Administration.

Far from the wilds of the Caribbean or the safe haven of the produce section, he somehow became a college dean. It was, as you might know, due to a fluke. But then the gods laugh loudly in life, don't they? Some member of the Board of Trustees retorted to the University President that "anyone could reasonably serve as a Dean, so we don't have to up their salary to recruit a suitable one. We could even hire the pirate from the produce department at the super market!" The President, tempted by the challenge, hired Pete as a temp Dean. But he got considerably more than a Dean for a Day.

There were some readjustments that had to be made. Pete learned that the office staff required coffee rather than a grog ration, and were inept in swordsmanship. What a bunch of weenies! The secretaries had to learn that "Shiver me timbers" was not sexual harassment talk. (Was it?)  Department chairs were required to dance the hornpipe as part of their evaluation. Department chairs can't dance; even though they're known not to be tough guys. And lazy, indolent faculty members were not simply fired, but forced to walk the plank. The administration smiled on this solution to personnel problems.

Pete had direct speech that was unaccustomed in academe and sometimes posed problems. For example, he called the Dean of Education a "scurvy dog," thereby offending Canine Americans all over the place. The nonexistent dress code somehow managed to slip another knot as barefootedness on warm days became okay. The Department of English engaged in an endless dialog as to whether their temporary Dean was a "pyrate" (17th century spelling) or a "pirate." Quoth Pete, "Arrrr! I was in a maritime resource reallocation business of late." The University Public Relations department concluded that he had a former career with the I.R.S.!

Strangely, his year of service went better than expected: funds got diverted from athletes and administration to the classroom, the grades went up, and student morale rose. (Grog parties in the afternoon helped raise student morale.) However, there was a decided decline in damsels in distress and swashbuckling toward the end of his year. The Old Sea Dog got sentimental for the sea, or maybe he missed stacking and watering the oranges and bell peppers.

1 comment:

bakku-shan said...

This was enjoysble -- totally surreal! But funny.