Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Hot Deaning Action

My office is at the very end of the ductwork for its building, which is to say, it isn’t air conditioned in any meaningful way. It also has nice big windows, so the greenhouse effect is pronounced. This week, according to the National Weather Service, it’s approximately 10,000 degrees outside, which means my office is about 9,000.

I am not a happy camper.

The rest of the building is hit-and-miss; one professor actually stopped me in the hallway today to complain that the chocolates she had left in her office for a week had melted. She seemed to think that I have some sort of control over building temperature. If I did, I’d start by getting my office temperature down into the double digits.

At one point it got so bad that I actually moved a meeting out of my office into another building, just to escape the heat. If it gets much worse, my office will start to look like a Dali painting.

I’ll just admit it: I simply don’t understand the apparent national mania for moving South. Leaving aside the red state/blue state thing, the NASCAR thing, and all the various cultural signifiers, it’s also *#%#)% HOT down there. (And I’m not fooled for a minute by the whole “palmetto bug” scam. I know a cockroach when I see one. They also have hurricanes and Republicans.) I’ll take cold over hot anytime. At least with cold, you can add layers.

It’s hard to look appropriately decanal when you’re visibly sweaty. I don’t think the college is ready, culturally, for a dean in shorts, but I’m _this close_ to trying it. (Last week Danigirl did a post about a supposed no-miniskirts-after-35 rule. I may have to do a no-deans-in-shorts query. Nothing lycra, just some tasteful long khaki numbers. Waddaya think?) And a fan is out of the question, given all the loose paper in here. But I need to do something, because it’s hard to maintain the appropriate external quietude when you’re too close to a literal boiling point.

Oh, Blogosphere, I seek your wisdom. Assuming the windows don’t open, a fan isn’t realistic, and the a/c is mostly theoretical, how do you keep cool at work in July?