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A well-planned, well-stated vision March 6, 2008

Posted by mervatabuelkheir in Faculty Life.
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My work place is currently the epitome of chaos! Nothing is going according to a plan, things and people are mixed up, and there’s no one who really cares! Why should I care then? I never belonged anyway! Not to Egypt as a country, not to my hometown, and certainly not to my faculty. I used to say to myself that I have a penchant for business venues, and that my love for studying can be always fulfilled by reading and research. Then why the hell should I care if students say they’re not given certain classes? Or if the faculty labs are a miss that has to end in sight? I shouldn’t care, because I don’t belong, and I keep drifting more and more away from the place and the mood. What really troubles me is that I want to be in the place and the mood, and I want everyone to work hard to make the place better, including me. The problem is I don’t have the stamina anymore, they don’t have the desire anymore, management doesn’t have the global vision for the place, and we all don’t know what to do with this situation! I want to be proud of the place I learned and worked in, and I don’t want the students to graduate saying they didn’t learn nothing. The real problem is that even with the staff that’s trying to deliver a message, the message is lost to students who don’t have a vision of what they should learn here, and how they should learn it. If I can talk about myself; then for example the distributed database systems course is a disaster waiting to happen for them and a picnic for me. They want to learn practical things (at least those who DO WANT TO LEARN!), and DDBS is a course more about design than implementation. But then, both departments are studying it, and designing a DDBMS is more of a CS department arena. IS department should be concerned more about setting policies and strategies for correct system functionality. What should I do? Give them SQL Server 2005 in the lab with no real point to make? Tell them how to make policy decisions? Or tell them how to build a query optimizer? I don’t have the grand plan, and even if I have it I don’t have the power to carry it out.
I spent 3 hours last nights rolling the subject in my head over and over, knowing that my colleagues – if they know what I was doing – would joke at how stupid I am and how my life is empty, but all I really want is to work according to a well-planned, well-stated vision. I don’t want to make the plan at this stage of my career because of two reasons; the first being that I too have a life and a research of my own to work on, and the second being that the stage where I’m obliged to make that plan will eventually come, and I want to learn from someone how to do it!

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