The Sigmund Freud Action Figure

In my last post, I mentioned waiting anxiously for my Sigmund Freud action figure to come in the mail. I'm pleased to report that it has arrived. Say hello to my little friend!

I am, however, now faced with a dilemma. Do I take him (it?) out of the package? Because then he won't be MIP anymore.

On the other hand, he is a toy, and toys should be played with (as "The Transporter Malfunction" taught us). But, as that Big Bang Theory episode also taught us, toys can get broken.

Out of the package (with the great big "SIGMUND FREUD" label), however, he just looks like an old white guy in a suit--doesn't even look like Viggo Mortensen. Heck, he could be mistaken for Wilhelm Wundt if you don't look too closely.

So in the box he stays. You can see him (it?) if you visit me during my office hours. But no playing with him. Anyway, that would be...weird.

(Yes, you can buy one of your very own.)

Why aren't you studying?

The Lost & Found

Ever felt like you were losing your mind? I sure did. I had a bad week: I lost my mailbox key. Argh! My wife had long ago misplaced the spare one. When that happens, you have to notify Canada Post and they’ll re-key your mailbox. That costs $29. In the meantime, you can’t access your mail. My Sigmund Freud action figure is going to arrive any day now!

Then, I misplaced my office keys. Argh! I can still get into my office--I just have to sheepishly ask my admin assistant for a spare key, and end up looking like some absentminded professor. How embarrassing!

Luckily, I found my office keys, right on the floor at home where I, er, dropped them. And my younger daughter found my mail key, right on the floor at home where I, er, dropped it. Then I noticed I lost my USB flash drives. D’oh!

This wasn’t as extreme an event as you might imagine. No, there was no “sensitive information” on them, just all of my lectures and some backups. Anything important was encrypted with TrueCrypt. I thought for sure I had left the drives in their little wallet in my intro psych classroom, but they weren’t there. Well, no big loss. I had already ordered a new 32 GB USB 3.0 flash drive anyway. More than anything else, it was just further proof that I was losing my mind.

So the next day, I went to my perception class, and a student came up to me and asked me if I had lost my wallet. Whaaaaat? No, not my wallet-wallet, my USB drive wallet. Turns out he gave a presentation in my intro psych classroom and found it where I, er, dropped it. It had some of my business cards in it, so that’s how he knew it was mine (thanks!).

So it turns out that I’m not actually losing my mind, I’m just losing a lot of stuff, and then getting it back.

I’ve found a lot of things in classrooms over the years, and have had a lot of things turned in to me by honest students. Things like wallets and phones I usually bring to the Psychology Department Office, and have the admin staff open it up and contact the owner. Other items without ID in them, like flash drives, MP3 players, and calculators, are usually left in the classroom, in the lockable drawer at the front, or sometimes are given to Campus 5-0. They have a lost & found service; their office is 11390-87 Avenue (Education Carpark). Finally, mitts, sweaters, water bottles, etc. are usually just left in the classroom, until the end of term. After that, I don’t know where they go.

There’s usually a lot of lost stuff that accumulates. Please, people, try to hang on to your stuff.

Why aren’t you studying?

The New Chairs

Check out my fancy new ergonomic office chairs. Woot!

A few weeks ago, we in the department were asked if we wanted new office chairs. It's probably surprising that, in this climate of budget shortfalls, such an extravagant expenditure would be possible. Well, there's "hard money" and "soft money." Hard money funds things that are required, like the salaries of staff and faculty, but soft money comes and goes. The recent (and ongoing) budget cuts affect hard money. (Alarmingly, because I am not a professor, I am apparently paid out of soft money. Eek! Keeping fingers crossed!) Anyway, these chairs are funded out of soft money.

I had the option to decline these new chairs and just keep my old ones. If I had done that, I would have saved the university some money. So why did I opt to get new chairs?

Getting new chairs is not a common thing. In fact, it's become a once-in-a-generation event. Literally. The old chairs I had in my office were around since before my time--they were new before I was an undergraduate. Yup, they're around 30 years old. If I had chosen to stick with my old chairs, new chairs might not come around again for another 30 years. If my contract is not renewed, wouldn't the person who inherits my office like to have chairs from this century?
In case you think I'm a spendthrift, I did turn down the offers of new filing cabinets and new desks. (And I'm still going to use my old gray-and-beige chair--I brought this one from home. It was a birthday present that I used at home, but as a spent more and more time in my office, it just made sense to move it to campus permanently.)

On the other hand, I did accept the offer of a box of paper and some "Department of Psychology"-branded pens. Oh, and then there's my iPad 2 that the university... But that's another post.

Why aren't you studying?

UPDATE #1: My fellow Faculty Lecturer, Dr Jennifer Passey, also decided to get a new desk for her office. That is, she wanted to have a desk--period. Since she was hired, she's only had a table to serve as her desk!

UPDATE #2: Almost forgot to mention--I also got a foam rubber brain with "Department of Psychology" on it. Mmm, brains.

UPDATE #3: It's like Christmas! Today in my mailbox, there was a box of pencils, a roll of tape, a staples, a box of staples, a staple remover, paper clips. sticky notes, a highlighter, a ruler, and two red pens. My desk drawer is stuffed!

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