Professing * Reflecting

Friday, October 29, 2004

Medusa Has Morals

I am supposed to be in the shower right now. I have been "strongly encouraged" by various higher-ups (including my chair) to attend an event today. I find this encouragement to be morally reprehensible, and I think my attendance would show a lack of respect for certain people (including myself). Without revealing the details--and maybe none of this makes sense without them--suffice it to say that attendance at this event is encouraged because big funds are at stake. In every instance of encouragement, the big funds and the importance of the big funds are mentioned. The event in itself--taken out of this context--has nothing to do with fund-raising. In fact, I find the idea of attending this event in order to secure funds (however veiled that intention might be)to be morally disgusting.

Should have been in the shower 10 minutes ago. I am not usually one to think in terms such as "morally reprehensible" or "morally disgusting." Maybe I am just beaten down from having to do so much service lately. Maybe I have decided to draw the line and am doing so arbitrarily. Maybe I am moralizing in order to draw that line. Maybe I am deluding myself by making this a moral issue. Maybe I am making much too much of this particular request and its implications. In a certain light, attending this event would merely be a show of support for a member of the community. BUT I KNOW WHY MY ATTENDANCE IS IMPORTANT TO THOSE WHO HAVE ENCOURAGED ME AND I AM PERSONALLY OFFENDED.

15 minutes late. I know that there will be hell to pay if I do not attend the event. I know it will anger certain people. I know that all of the service I have done in the past two months will be erased in an instant. But shouldn't I show them that I am not available for each and every event? How did I become their PR lackey? Do I really want to be that much of a "team player"? Do I have to be to get tenure?

20 minutes late. (I got another cup of coffee.) The really fucked-up thing is this: by not attending this event, I will be seen as the one who is divesting it of the communal spirit aspect (which the intentions of the encouragement always already did) and who is thinking of it only from the big funds aspect. My very objection reinforces what they are trying to hide under the veil of "communal spirit."

30 minutes late. (Lots of staring out of the window. Two cigarettes smoked.) I have a feeling that I might be "getting on my high horse," as my father used to accuse me of doing. I feel like I might be "cutting off my nose to spite my own face," as he also used to say. Interesting that I am hearing my father's voice right now.

Getting in the shower. Still not sure what I am going to do.



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