David Fleming
It's All Academic   www.davidflemingsite.com   
I Hate T.V. Re-runs; or, There Really Is Nothing New Under The Sun(gard)

November 4, 2011:  I Hate T.V. Re-runs; or, There Really Is Nothing New Under The Sun(gard)

Several years ago, when I worked at a different institution, we had the surprise of finding a big-ass (excuse my French) t.v., still in its carton, in the office of a faculty member who had left the university.  We were unsure of where it had come from, how it had been paid for, or what it was intended for.  Eventually we figured it had been purchased for one of our technology programs, but for whatever reason had never been installed.

Not knowing what else to do with it at the time, it was moved, still in original packing, to my office, where it sat for months, tempting me daily to be opened and mounted on my wall.  I seem to remember being most torn during March Madness.  Luckily, we eventually donated it to the student residence hall to be placed in one of its common areas; I thought my experiences with unclaimed, unopened, flat-screen t.v.'s had ended.

Silly me.

This week, at SMC, while cleaning out a current faculty member's office, we discovered, yes, you guessed it, a flat screen t.v. still in its original carton.  The markings on the outside of the box had a 2004 date and a mailing label to send the t.v. to somewhere in Pennsylvania.  The faculty member had always thought it was an extra computer monitor, left in the room from when it was the copy area (which also can tell you how small this office actually is).

This time, the t.v. went straight to computing services, who will make a determination about its best use.  I will not be tempted; since I have already shown I wouldn't go Hadleyburg with the previous t.v., why bother?

Each day I am more and more convinced that there really is nothing new under the sun in academia.  Heck, in the last three weeks I have experienced an almost unfathomable re-occurrence of you've-got-to-be-kidding me kind. Decency and privacy prevent me from going into details. 

In the meantime, to all my faculty friends, actually take a look at some of those big boxes sitting in the corners of your offices.