Our Stories @ ENG: John Wakefield

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Our Stories @ ENG: A series in which teaching staff and students share their memories of the ENG Department to coincide with the 60th Anniversary of the department. [Read all entries.]  [Revisit the “Pride of Place” series.] [Revisit the “Pet Sounds” series.] [Revisit the “Headspace” series.] [Revisit the “Ongoing” series.] [Revisit the “Interrogative” series.]

ENG’s Internal Mechanism
by John Wakefield

As a teaching and research staff member at HKBU, I have administrative duties that involve filling out forms and reports, varying from small and trivial to lengthy and complex. During my seven years thus far here at ENG, I have frequently found myself needing to fulfil an administrative task that I have never done before, or that I have done before, but only several months or a year prior, and I therefore only have a vague memory of how to complete the task. Am I the only one who feels lost when it comes to the details of new, semi-annual, and annual administrative tasks? Considering the fact that colleagues have on occasion asked me for help, I have concluded that others have similar problems.

I remember thinking one time that even if only half of us have this problem, why didn’t ENG collapse like a house of cards long ago? Then it dawned on me. We teaching and research staff are the skin and face that give ENG its image, reputation, and voice, but beneath all that is a heart and lungs that keep it alive, and a skeletal system that holds it up. These inner workings of ENG that keep it thriving and functioning are the staff that help me every time I feel lost: without Bonnie, May, Nicole, Phoebe and Florence, I would have fallen apart long ago. I look good (only figuratively of course) for having done my job, but the job never would have been done properly without their help, so I only look good because of them. They are ENG’s internal mechanism, enabling it to run smoothly and continuously. I thank them not only for all their help over all these years, but for offering it so readily, happily and thoroughly.

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john wakefieldJohn Wakefield is Assistant Professor at the Department of English Language and Literature. [Click here to read all entries by John.]

 

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