Thursday, May 06, 2004

Paying my dues
An organisation like Volda College is small enough that each individual has a lot of freedom to create our own job and control our own day. This is the great advantage of working here - in this tiny little pond it's easy to become a big fish among other reasonably large fish who all are pretty autonomous within our territories.

This does, however, in the best spirit of social democracy, entail a duty towards the collective. In other words: I have to pay my dues to the organisation for the trust and freedom it gives me. Now that I have finished the PhD it's payback time. This happens through taking on the tasks vital to the running of the Collage: be on minor or major boards, taking on leadership and responsibility, working for the union. So far I am, apart from being back to leading my by now preteen baby the information education; on the boards of the department, the local researcher's union and the board of employment (for all of the college). I have done my duty time in the arrangement comittee for the Christmas party, and entertained the masses with my eloquence in social contexts. But I haven't even started paying yet. The next big project is the organisational comittee. Due to the changes in the Norwegian educational system over the last 10 years, Volda College is in dire need of restructuring. I have said yes to be part of that. With three other faculty members and a secretary, our job will be to make a suggestion as to how to re-organise a 200 strong organisation with tasks ranging from building maintainance to large-scale socio-political research, with all the quirks of a 130-year-old organisation forcefully joined with another organisation 100 years younger thrown into the pot.

I have to learn a new word soon. I have to practice using it fluently and politely, but with conviction. I desperately need to learn when to say "no".

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