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“If you won’t scold or dominate us / We will never give you cause to hate us”

October 22, 2008

Do you remember the scene in Mary Poppins when Jane and Michael Banks wrote up their own advert for a nanny? (Sure you do). Their stuffed-shirt father tore up their effort and tossed it in the fireplace, but when Julie Andrews arrived to take the job she had the shredded paper, taped together, in her gloved hand?

Well, I was reminded of that today when I read the report put out by the Joint Nominating Committee for the Office of President in which they include a seven-page “position profile” (to be posted soon). Not to say that there is anything wrong with that document — in fact, it reflects a wide range of community concerns and presents a quite daunting “wish-list” — but I was wondering if the simple approach might not be best?

JANE UNB FACULTY [Spoken]
Wanted: a president for two adorable campuses

ENTERPRISE SAINT JOHN [Spoken]
Adorable? Well that’s debatable I must say!

JANE [Sung]
If you want this choice position,
Have an open disposition.
Straight up, no warts,

MICHAEL UNB STUDENT [Spoken]
That’s the part I put in.

JANE
Consult, all sorts.

You must be clear, with no polemics,
Must respect us academics.

ENTERPRISE SAINT JOHN [Spoken]
Of all the ridiculous ideas!

BOARD OF GOVERNORS [Spoken]
Oh ESJ, please!

JANE
Stand up for us to government, business too.
Sense of core purpose: a definite coup.

Never fudge or patronize,
Never feed us cheap PR, or lies.
Love both campuses equally,
And never give a speech that’s treacly.

MICHAEL [Spoken]
I put that part in too.

JANE
If you won’t diss or dominate us,
We will never give you cause to hate us.
We won’t impeach you or knock your rep askew,
Blindside you at Senate or trash you at review.
Hurry president, many thanks
Sincerely,

BOTH
Jane and Michael UNB

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2 Comments
  1. Linda Hansen permalink
    October 22, 2008 7:54 am

    Thomas Pynchon once observed: *If they can get you to ask the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about the answers.*

  2. Debra Lindsay permalink
    October 22, 2008 9:25 am

    Bravo! You are the mistress of the night. I await your debut on Broadway. On second thought, why wait? There’s a show opening this afternoon–and it’s much closer to home.

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