Gone to England Sunday, Jun 20 2010 

Today is PJ’s birthday, and my birthday is Saturday, so we’re flying to England to celebrate.

We’ll be spending a couple of days in London before going to Bath for three days. While staying in Bath, we’re going to take a couple of day-long bus tours to the Cotswolds and Stonehenge. Then we’re back to London for my birthday. We’ll fly home on the 28th.

The main plan is to eat well, visit museums, and generally relax and enjoy a week away from work. As much as I love my job as dean, I’m looking forward to a vacation!

I’ve been so busy over the past six weeks that I’ve barely blogged. This trip should also give me lots to write about! Until then, cheers!

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True Blood Season 3 Tuesday, Jun 15 2010 

True Blood season 3 started on Sunday with a great episode. I didn’t really care for the Maryann story line of season 2, so I’m glad that we’re moving on now. I thought the episode had a good balance between continuing with the aftermath of the second season while moving the plot lines forward in new directions.

Of course the best part of the episode was the sequence between Sam and Bill:

This has to be the hottest scene in television history! And even though PJ immediately said that this had to be someone’s dream, I liked the way it started off realistically — the part where Sam has to invite Bill into the hotel room, for example.

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Celebrating National Man Day Monday, Jun 14 2010 

Today was declared National Man Day by two of my fellow Hoosiers. According to a story I saw on The Huffington Post,

Ninteen-year-old Joel Longanecker of Celestine and his 26-year-old brother Aaron, of Indianapolis, have for months been rallying thousands to their masculine cause on Facebook. More than 260,000 people have pledged to “stand up and do manly things” on Man Day.

I’ve decided that the “manly thing” I want to do to celebrate National Man Day is probably a bit more queer than the originators had intended: I’d like to celebrate some of my favorite hot, manly men!

Hot Manly Tennis

Throughout this year’s clay court tennis season, I’ve been enjoying watching Fernando Verdasco, one of the hottest players on the ATP tour:

Among tennis fans, Verdasco has been recognized for his hotness for a couple of years now, but this year his fame has grown. On the one hand, his tennis has improved over the past year. He was one of the top clay court players this year — so much so that he over-played and ended up costing himself some of his competitive edge when it came to the big tournament, the French Open.

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1st Anniversary (Of Sorts) Thursday, Jun 3 2010 

It was one year ago today that I was offered my current position as dean. I well remember receiving the call from the provost asking me to take the position and laying out the general offer. It was definitely one of the most exciting moments in my career thus far.

One day later was the first public acknowledgment of my appointment, which is where this picture was taken. It was at the college’s annual potluck. It was rather precipitously decided that I would be announced at this event because the word had gotten out on facebook that I was the new dean. (My little sister wrote something about it on my wall, and some of my students saw it before I was able to delete it.) The university didn’t officially announce it until the following Monday.

This year’s potluck is also this afternoon. So, this is a good moment to think back and assess my first year as dean. I few people have pointed out how happy I look in this picture. And I definitely was ecstatic. It felt like everything I had ever wanted had suddenly come to fruition.

The main thing that’s on my mind as I reflect today is how naive I was about the job I was getting into. I look back and realize that I knew next to nothing about being a dean. I see just how minuscule my experience really was in such areas as management, budgets, fund-raising, dealing with a couple hundred students and all of their problems, and even many of the basic aspects, policies, and programs of the college I would subsequently lead.

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