- Vague Busy Dad (aka The Chair) -- um, he's Dad. Everyone obeys him but talks rebelliously behind his back.
- Grampa Sleepy -- he's a jolly sort of guy who snoozes in the corner of meetings until someone jostles him awake with a question about the library committee.
- Great-Uncle Fred -- a bitter, querolous man who begins every comment with "Well, 25 years ago, we decided..."
- Wacky Aunt Sue -- wears handmade necklaces and has been known to sing during lectures.
- Uncle Bill -- Terrifies the kids by always asking them "so, young man, how's your tenure file?"
- Marsha (older sister) -- Marsha was once the only princess, and the prettiest in all the land. She's jealous of those who came after her, but she still tries to be the prettiest.
- Joe (aka Class Clown) -- Joe is the quintessential middle child always seeking attention. He frequently interrupts discussions with off-topic (and sometimes off-color) jokes.
- Little Betty -- still a girl after all these years. She doesn't have to take responsibility for anything, because she's just so, you know, girly.
- Eugene the Nerd -- kind of smelly, kind of awkward, kind of sweet in his own way.
- Serious Stan and Ann -- the Twins who work hard, keep their rooms clean, and seem so perky that you just have to suspect a Deep Secret lurking somewhere.
- Whiny Toddler I -- he is always convinced that he needs something shiny, something that someone else has.
- Whiny Toddler II -- has learned that flinging himself on the ground and screaming will get attention.
- Tired Mom -- wants everyone to just settle down and agree on something.
As the end of semester nears, and Meeting Season is upon us -- that joyous time when each and every university, college, and department committee feels that it must hold a meeting in order to finish undone business -- comparisons between one's department and family relationships inevitably arise. Although I am not related by blood to any of my colleagues, I am, in fact, stuck with most of them, just as one is more or less stuck with one's relations. These are some of the members of my department -- recognize any of them?
Posted by Mel at 6:02 PM