Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday 13th. The end of the second week

Once again, when I drove to work this morning I thought how lucky I was.
I spent the first 15 minutes of the morning with my new doctor, getting feedback on my medical (I'm over 45, you know) and he says EVERYTHING is cool.
Then the sun basked the mountain in crisp kitch chocolate box light as I drove straight towards it to joint the highway, and then there was no traffic on the N2 and I could coast all the way into the office.
This week I met two new people - David Boonzaier and John Hill - essentially from different ends of the Faculty, but with all the same things in common.
I sort of get the feeling that Mel and the rest put together this excellent Ferrari, parked it at the starting blocks, and said to me: "Now you drive it!" How lucky can one be. Yes, maybe I am naive, maybe I am rushing in where angels fear to tread - but I can't think of a nicer job at the moment.
Our move arrived on Tuesday, and we spent Tuesday and Wednesday in continuous unpacking mode. NOTING was broken. Amazing. The only thing that broke, was a glass that we broke ourselves while unpacking it.
HOWEVER, what set me thinking was how much STUFF we have. And that after everything that we threw away! And a lot of that stuff that we threw away (either in Pretoria or Cape Town) was stuff that we thought we could actually not live without. It reminded me of a research project done by two of my M.Ed students some years ago in which they discovered that in one week a family in Sandton threw away more in kilogrames, than a family in Diepkloof brought in.
Which then becomes a common denominator in my discussions with both John and David.
How much are we as a faculty spending, that we do not have to spend. What sort of duplication are we doing, what sort of unnecessary things are we doing - either just becuase we've always done it, or because we have not thought how to do it better.
There are video cameras lying around only slightly used, by at least four departments. There are subjects taught in various courses that, with a little thinking, can be replaced by one generic course.
I can think of nothing more exciting than to do a major audit of all our stuff, and all our intellectual property, and to see how we can align all that better.
Next week I will be in the greater Tshwane area all week. More time to reflect upon the stuff that awaits.

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