Today was the first meeting of the Educational Policy committee I'm sitting on. I am the only woman on the 12-person committee. Only 6 of us showed up today. Including one guy who looks like a garden gnome, moves at a slow crawl, and said in his introduction that he had served on the Senate for n years when n approaches infinity. He's easily 80 years old. Or more? I was also the only Humanities prof there. And I was probably younger than the others by at least 10 years.
What did all of this mean? It was a weird meeting. Not unpleasant, exactly. But it's really clear that everything I said got a lot of attention. And all these old guys kept looking to me for my response to their comments, trying to make eye contact with me, etc.
And then the next-youngest guy walked out of the building with me and asked how long I'd been at the University. Which is really code for "you look so young. Why are you on this committee?"
But it was actually one of the more productive meetings I've sat in this week, so I don't think I'm going to mind this piece of my service duty.