The story behind the name:

One evening, at the Old Broadway Grill in Fargo, North Dakota, my brother caught the end of a Mountain Dew commercial. In the commercial, a Mountain Dew drinker was riding a shark in the ocean. My brother exclaimed in surprise, not realizing that it was a commercial. When I told him he declared "All I saw was a guy coming out of the shower with a shark." Of course, he meant water, but the idea of showering with sharks has been with me ever since.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Honeymoon?

I admit that I've been a bit frustrated this week. It is more philosophical frustration than frustration about anything tangible.

First, I've been a little irritated by how little people seem to know or understand about what a communication department is/does on this campus. I believe that people who study communication have a lot to offer in a wide variety of areas. Everyone communicates after all! In fact, it would be impossible to get anything done in a day if you weren't communicating somehow! Despite this (I think) obvious fact, people perpetually assume that all we do is public speaking. I truly believe that the communication department here is one of the most underutilized and underrated.

Second, I am getting tired of people trying to douse my enthusiasm for my job. Today I made a "Yay job!" comment in a meeting and I was told that I'm still in my first year - the faculty honeymoon - in a sort of "oh, isn't that cute" voice. (As I'm writing this now, I think I may have ranted about it earlier in another blog - oh well, it's still annoying). My thought is this: why wouldn't people want to encourage enthusiasm when they see it? My enthusiasm doesn't mean that I'm naively unaware of the less-than-pleasant aspects of my job (every job has them). And I have also known other professors who have seemed to hang on to their enthusiasm for teaching and students. I don't think it is a foregone conclusion that after doing this for a few years you automatically become jaded and bitter, or even excessively cynical. And, I'd like to remind everyone, that even though this is my first year here, and my first year out of grad school, it is NOT my first year teaching. I had complete autonomy over many of the classes that I taught in the past. I was responsible for choosing books, writing syllabi, creating and grading assignments, and doing the day-to-day in-class stuff. AND I did that while finishing grad classes and writing a dissertation!! If I could make it out of that nightmare without becoming too bitter, I think I can survive this job. Anyway, I hope no one takes this rant the wrong way (David Lapakko). I love my job, my new school, and my department (go comm studies!! woo hoo!!). I just sometimes wish I could get a few more people to cheer with me.

1 comment:

  1. If you can't be a little more positive about your depressing little job in a currently rancorous and dysfunctional organization, I don't know what we are going to do with you! Where's your school spirit? Your super-duper up-with-people zest for life? Seems like a little "attitude adjustment" is warranted. Tsk, tsk--some people; I just don't know.