July 24, 2014
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To vacation or NOT to vacation; Harry Potter IS the answer PR musings

Vacation takes its toll when you come back to work and find more than 300 e-mail messages in your mailbox. You sort of wonder how R&R can lead to more stress than when you closed your office door and yelled to everyone within hearing, “I’m OFF, I’m GONE, I’m OUTTA here!”

OK, maybe I took two weeks off this July for a reason—to really get away from it all and not feel the pressure of daily and weekly deadlines here at UNS. But actually, I took the advice of an expert on “Good Morning America” who said more and more Americans aren’t taking vacation, just extending their weekends a day here, a day there. His recommendation was to TAKE A VACATION the way my parents’ generation did—two weeks in a row, using the first to unwind, the next to enjoy.

AND SO I DID—went to the Cape and biked, read books, walked the ocean beach and collected shells, pigged out on lobster, clams and ice cream and spent time with friends. Admittedly, I did think about the Saunders College of Business occasionally, but like Macbeth, I would chant “Out, OUT” and the thought would release like a candle in the wind. (Sorry, Dean Ashok!)

The next week was even better and my only deadline was reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince before the grand-finale release of Book 7 (which I just bought at Wegmans along with 50 other pseudo-kids like me in line!) That’s when I started to think about one of my other UNS beats, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at RIT, which usually offers classes on the literary magic of Harry Potter.

And that got me to thinking about Harry when I returned from vacation and saw all the e-mails waiting like the dark wizards of “You know who . . . Voldemort.”

I told my bosses (who are equally wild about Harry) that for the year 2007-08, I would need some necessary “Potter” tools to fulfill my job here at RIT—an Avada Kadavra killing curse for e-mails, an owl to send messages on campus, and an invisibility cloak to wear to meetings and press conferences. And I wouldn’t mind having Crookshanks (Hermione’s cat) warm my feet.

Bob, Paul, I’m waiting to hear from you . . .

 

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