Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Favorite Non-Teaching McGill Memories

Since I already enumerated my top teaching memories in my decade at McGill, I thought I would ponder my favorite moments/experiences outside of the classroom:
  • Hearing Helen Wilicka's laugh for the first time.  She was the most fun office manager I have experienced in my career (and that is saying something as I have been quite lucky).  Losing her to the Dean's office was a big hit even if her replacement has been quite excellent.
  • When Juliet Johnson made central banking fascinating during a job talk.  A feat that still boggles my mind.
  • Getting my first SSHRC grant.  McGill has had a high rate of success, and I benefited from that, as I was able to fund heaps of data-gathering with that first grant, my NATO-Afghanistan project with my second, and more data-gathering (diaspora) with my third.
  • Watching a retiring colleague spend days weeks months standing outside of his office with a huge recycling bin, going to each page individually to see if it merited tossing into the bin.
  • Sitting in on Stuart Soroka's methods class, picking up heaps of STATA tricks along the way.
  • Designing the renovation of the third floor wing to create an office with a great view, even if McG would never let me out on the balcony (scared of me taking a dive?).  While the CFI paperwork was/is a tremendous headache, it was nice to have an influence on the offices/lab/conference room with spiffy new furniture.
  • The binge of hiring the first five or so years--we hired a great bunch of folks.  It was a lot of work, but the rewards of that labor are paying off big-time now as they folks have moved up and up in the department and in the profession.
  • The wager with Jacob Levy about the future of English private school in Quebec.  I was glad to lose even if it meant not hearing him lecture in Klingon.
  • Teasing Jason Ferrell, who is even more of a comic book geek than me, about his always seeing the big superhero movies far later than any self-respecting comic book geek should. 
  • The staff taking me out for beer and dinner last week.  They are great folks, and the department is lucky to have them.

And, yes, most of my least favorite moments have to do with emails from this guy:


Anonymous said...

Who is he?

J.Collins said...

That would be the lovable Sgt. Schultz... "I know nothing!"
He is frm Hogan's Heros, a great show from the 60s.