Found Object: Department Memo

blog_1993_dept_memo1
Location: Discovered between file folders and other papers from Associate Professor Emeritus Michael Donnelly. Object: A department memo from office manager Jeri Slagle to faculty, GTAs, and staff (Sept 24, 1993). Observations: 1. The memo’s subject line — “The never-ending-battle of our coffee fund & other interesting — or not, stuff” — is worthy of an 18th century novel in its balance of the quotidian and the epic. 2. We are definitely entering this narrative in medias res: the coffee situation is a long-standing concern.  3. Coffee was provided on a daily basis by the English Department office?  4. Shared resources in professional work spaces are hard — in 1993 and today.
blog_1993_dept_memo2
Object: Further paragraphs from a department memo from office manager Jeri Slagle to faculty, GTAs, and staff (Sept 24, 1993). Observations: 1. I, too, often want to praise our copier for its efforts, especially at the start of the fall semester. 2. The current copier is more resilient when others assist with toner or paper jams, though the main office is always ready to help. 3. The “night ring” is a mystery beyond the context offered here: a way to call out on office phones after business hours? The need for “restrictions,” though, is a TelCom puzzle. 4. The third paragraph in this excerpt still applies. New faculty and grad students: If you have yet to pick up keys from Key Control, they will be sending the cards back soon! Be sure to take your Wildcat ID.
blog_1993_dept_memo3
Object: Concluding paragraphs from a department memo from office manager Jeri Slagle to faculty, GTAs, and staff (Sept 24, 1993). Observations: 1. I never had cause to value the fact that our current mail delivery resides in a locked cabinet until distribution. I suspect Jeri would appreciate our current process. 2. Our main office has been asking for “understanding and patience,” too, during the past weeks, as we hired our new Office Specialist II, Audra Staab. (Welcome, Audra!) 3. The memo, in its entirety, is the kind of communication that would now be shared via email — and, most likely, lost to cyberspace rather than persisting to offer this glimpse into the department’s past.
blog_1995_memo_coffee
Location: Discovered between file folders and other papers from Associate Professor Emeritus Michael Donnelly. Object: A department memo from “the Coffee Police,” otherwise known as office manager Jeri Slagle and office assistants Linda Broderson and Kendra Morris to faculty (March 27, 1995). Observations: 1. The memo’s subject line — “Goodbye Coffee” — signals the concluding chapter in the coffee narrative. 2. The memo addresses only faculty, suggesting that access to coffee changed between Fall 1993 and Spring 1995. What happened to coffee for the GTAs and other staff? 3. It’s hard to remember or imagine a time when coffee in its many preparations and varieties was not easily at hand at nearby venues. Our thanks to Radina’s, Arrow, Bluestem, Sparrow, and more for meeting the department’s and the campus’s coffee needs!

Karin Westman, Associate Professor and Department Head

 

 

 

 

 

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