coffee and disappointment

Ever make that cup of coffee that's just perfect? My coffee, dispensed this morning from the aging cappuccino machine on my kitchen counter, has the perfect smell, the perfect crema, and just the right taste. It's another one of those things that makes the morning so rich with possibility.

So what's disappointing? The huge, gigantic, terrifying budget cuts that the state's public universities are facing. My department had a meeting with its grad students yesterday, where we learned the magnitude of our troubles. The cuts are large enough that some students, for the first time in a long time, will probably not be funded next year. Oh, we have it better than some departments: We're facing cuts of between 3% and 5%; other departments are being absolutely decimated, with cuts of 30%.

Every day, I ride my bike past the mostly-empty $28million subterranean monument to the kind of brick-and-mortar capital "improvements" that are partly responsible for the de-funding of entire academic disciplines at the U of A. The block before that, I ride past the monument to athletic excess, the newly-renovated multimillion dollar trophy hall recently added (along with acres and acres of grass lawn) to the basketball center.

Student-centered research university, my tuckus.