If I’m honest, the prospect of institutional box lunch was half of why I agreed to go to the accreditation workshop. It did not disappoint, because I keep a very low bar. Chips and cookies, both!

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Among the many changes to commencement this year is the shift of the campus barbecue to the day of the grand ceremony. Total hit with me. I cried at the valedictory speech and then tweeted through the reading of 1600 names then wandered back to campus, returned my rental gown, picked up my Aramark meal, and ate it with my email in my office. It’s a good life!

The decision of the Post union leadership to commit to a contract extension with draconian eat-your-young cutbacks for new hires without sufficient discussion as its own faculty not to mention even the courtesy of letting us in Brooklyn know what was happening made it super hard to just sit in the strategic planning meeting and pretend everything was normal. I wasn’t helped by the terrible wrap which somehow had three different kinds of American cheese inside a flour tortilla and still was the best I could do.

There really aren’t that many days when what I wish for is Aramark catering, but this was one of those days, ran to work, didn’t pack anything, K. is gone so the refrigerator is out of roasted vegetable leftovers, scheduled up the wazoo through to 9pm. The strategic planning meeting was the best thing that happened to me all day.

Does it count as a free lunch if you have to eat it in a strategic planning meeting?

It turns out institutional catering is institutional catering and this institutional catering was just as institutional and catered. Here I am seeing if my dreams will all come true and still with the damp sandwich. Higher ed is higher ed all over.

The meeting was a lunch meeting, but the meeting started at 11 so the lunch was laid out at 11. Was that too early for lunch? Depends, I guess, on one’s ability to step away from an Aramark platter when it’s just sitting there, offering up turkey sandwich halves. I made a plate and ate it while the vice president updated us all on the status of the strategic plan. I think I’m starting to understand where I might fit in: maintaining RSVP lists and spreadsheets of team members. I should be an executive assistant.