Field of Science

Massive cleanup underway

TPP always makes a point to clean things up enough for the start of each semester to ascertain that his desk is still there under the piles of paper, and it's a big old wooden desk too.  Things tend to accumulate, and the amount of paper makes a farce out of the concept of a "paperless office".  Yes, you can post a syllabus, handouts, and lab guides for students online, and then 95% of them will print a copy.  TPP has worked hard to teach students how to construct e-portfolios to record their lab work, and that does help cut down on the amount of paper you get turned in.  A great deal of the piled up paper is related to the book, now officially in press, so a bit of cleanup is in order.  Do plants grow better if mulched with paper upon which botanical science has been written?  Does all that knowledge increase the nutritional value?  Some of my students did claim that recycled exams made the best paper mulch because they already were full of crap.  Nice.  So now to reduce the clutter to the point that it makes a subtle statement about professional scholarship.  Once when showing a chair candidate around the department, we entered a lab and had to wait for a minute or so.  He looked at the benches (clean & spotless), the plastic dust covers on all the bench top equipment, items neatly arranged in drawers, and then he leaned over and whispered in my ear, "Nothing going on in here is there?"  So perfectly clean desks and neat offices are a dead giveaway that you either have a personal assistant and cleaning crew or nothing at all is going on.  Ever notice how neat administrative offices are?  Immaculate. 

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