The last spanking my dad gave me was forty-six years ago and it was over a preposition. I remember now as distinctly as then that he told me to “bring the cows up to the lot.” I knew as well as I knew my own name that he meant for me to “bring the cows up into the lot” but I was eager to get back to fishing. So, I did what he said instead of what he meant and hurried back to the pond. Not thirty minutes later I was wishing that I had done otherwise. As he was unbuckling his belt, I very briefly considered a defense based on semantics but decided against it.
The reason that I am thinking about this all these years later is that I am now engaged in the revision phase of the massive report on which our college’s state funding for next year will be based. A big part of the formula depends upon how each course is considered for the calculation. The amount varies across six levels depending upon how “expensive” the state considers each course is to deliver. But, unless a particular course is “tied” or “linked” to a particular program, it will not get any funding.
So, I am trying, with the help of a couple of other key people, to get this all straightened out. Part of my frustration is that I frankly don’t have a gnat’s idea of an elephant what the difference is between a “tied” course and a “linked” course. Which it is determines what information I have to send to Topeka in order to get funding credit for each course. There are about twenty-five such courses at present, which translates to a few hundred thousand dollars in future funding. Hopefully, by sunset today, we’ll have it worked out.
One thing I have gained from both experiences is an appreciation for the accuracy of terms. Henceforth, when someone asks me, “Doc, don’t you want to go to heaven?” I’m going to reply, “Nope, I want to go into heaven… and I want to stay there, too.”