A year ago I retired from the University of North Dakota. Evidently someone must have noticed I was gone. This Spring I received an email indicating I had been labeled emeritus and given a gift. I was asked to report to the Office of the President to pick up my gift. So I did.
Emeritus is derived from the greek – merit and tokus. Merit implies the need for a celebration and well tokus you can look up for yourself. Evidently emeritus suggests that there is now cause for a celebration as we can see that you are leaving (sometimes and don’t let the door hit your backside on the way out).
The present? This one had me stumped.
I was given a ream of stationary and a stack of envelopes. I think this was the decision of the President’s secretarial staff.Presidents do not involve themselves with such decisions. There is a possibility UND hired a consultant, but I still think the secretaries had the final say. I can kind of imagine the conversation.
Secretary 1 – Grabe is coming over to collect his emeritus gift. What can we give him?
Secretary 2 – The traditional gift is a watch or a rocking chair. The legislature has been watching our budget so extravagant gifts like watches are a thing of the past. The boss has grown quite attached to that rocking chair so I do not want to explain to him we gave it to a faculty member.
Secretary 1 – We must have something around here that will do. Look in the back room and see what you can find.
Secretary 2 -There was a coffee cup with an inappropriate logo, but the cup had stains I could not remove. How about this – I found some stationary and envelopes.
Secretary 1 – Shall we throw in some stamps?
Secretary 2 – I may have a couple in my purse.
What do I do when I am puzzled by some event in my life? I take a picture and write a blog post.
OK – it probably did not go down exactly as I have described. My name does appear at the top of each sheet of stationary.
Probably an afternoon’s work for a work study student.