What Ever Happened to Competent Administrations?


What a mess I’ve managed to get myself into! 18th century counterpoint was scheduled to be from 4:30 to 5:45 on Tuesday and Thursday in Music 1213. So I stopped by the math mailroom for tea after Greek and then got to Music 1213 at around 4:15. The room was locked, and the wing was desolate. I waited until about 4:25, and then, since no one was there, I went over to some bulletin boards to see if a time/location change had been announced. It hadn’t. Fortunately, at around 4:27, another student came around, and he was also in the class. Since no one else was there, he recommended stopping by the professor’s office to see if he was in or something. He wasn’t, but there was a schedule on his door. The schedule listed the class as being at some very strange time like 3:00 in Music 2224. We decided to stop by Music 2224 to see if he was in there. Well, he was. There were three mammals in the room: the professor, his dog, and one student. The professor and the one other student thought the class was in Music 2224 at 4:00. When we arrived, the class size had tripled, so he started over, more or less. He had us introduce ourselves, asking what our emphases were. It was a bit awkward announcing that I was a mathematics major. He proceeded to announce that the class time was “probably” Tuesday from 2 to 4 and Thursday from 4 to 5:30 in Music 2224.

Well, that’s awfully clever. The music department won’t tell the professor or the students when and where the class is going to be. So I stopped by the Music Department right when it opened (at 8:30) this morning to try to confirm this. One of the administrative people looked it up on the computer and told me it was Tuesday and Thursday at 4:30 in Music 1213. I can’t say I’m surprised, since that is what it says on the internet and in the course catalog. So now tuning and temperament AND counterpoint conflict with Greek. I don’t want to drop Greek, but I either have to drop Greek or the other two (unless I want to do what some other unnamed people do and just not go to classes regularly since they take simultaneous classes). People have told me that the music department does stuff like this all the time.

On top of that, I might not be able to get an add code for counterpoint since I don’t have prerequisites. The professor doesn’t mind if I join the class provided that I can keep up (and I am convinced that I can), but the music department administrators will probably do something stupid to prevent me from adding the class. But maybe I’m just a pessimist, and they’ll actually let me in.

I should try to forget about all this nonsense now and enjoy my three math classes plus tuning and temperament. Here come three hours in 6635!

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About Simon

Hi. I'm Simon Rubinstein-Salzedo. I'm a mathematics postdoc at Dartmouth College. I'm also a musician; I play piano and cello, and I also sometimes compose music and study musicology. I also like to play chess and write calligraphy. This blog is a catalogue of some of my thoughts. I write them down so that I understand them better. But sometimes other people find them interesting as well, so I happily share them with my small corner of the world.
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4 Responses to What Ever Happened to Competent Administrations?

  1. grumf says:

    learn greek in your free time.

  2. Ok, I got confused…but
    What;s your major and minor?

  3. mathfanatic says:

    What Ever Happened to Competent Administrations?
    A contradiction in terms, my friend.
    It’s funny that when you interview for a job/college, they want people with “leadership skills”…so that they can become (by definition, incompetent) administrators?

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