Yesterday was something of the ideal day...a focus on research, reading and thinking, a presentation of one's work to an appreciative audience, all the things one would want to do. Today was a retreat from that, literally.
The 'Retreat'. Who even invented that? It does seem, in theory, that bringing colleagues together for a day in a large room away from the daily distractions of the office--email, phone calls, unexpected callers, twitter (no, not really)--is a good idea. Funny how managerialist practice can spoil that.
|A darker shadow approacheth, at 6.12am|
Some time later, senior admin staff determined that what was good for academics would be good for them, only without research to present they conflabbed about...hmm, admin. The rot, thenceforth, set in. At subsequent retreats, managers started inviting themselves to a 'session' of the academics' retreat. We would hear something new about, something.
Retreats have gone from being days of the joy of thinking to thinking about escape. Too many I've been to now simply detract from the day one could otherwise be doing work of interest and relevance. But enough of that. These retreats are no doubt here to stay.
These were the thoughts at 6.12am today when the sunlight on the cupboard suddenly came into view. We usually early risers have been noticing that the sun is rising much later now (as it is wont to do) and the light in the room just said to me summer is as good as over.
|In the office, surprise! |
Whatever it might be, it is time to beat a retreat from the retreat and reclaim our research and intellectual life. Society will be the poorer without it. The managerialists will lament the passing of the retreat...but I won't.