Returning to the office after being away is an adjustment even for an ex-dean. When I saw Mom on Monday, she said, “I know you’re doing good things, but you’re doing a lot. Just be careful.”  Her question made me wonder out loud, “Why in the world am I so busy?” I think the simple answer is that new opportunities and commitments filled the gap created by my transition.  The point of all this seemingly pointless rambling is, that when I returned to town, I had to play catch up.  There were travel reports to file, calls to return, follow up email, and lots of dry cleaning to be dropped off. I continued my pursuit of a copy of Luther on Vocation with a stop at the Dickson Street Book Shop, a booklover’s bookstore. It’s a big store, crammed with floor to ceiling (in an orderly fashion) with books on every topic imaginable, but sadly not the book I sought.

Among the more relaxing (pun intended) tasks to be attended to was an appointment with the Heroine of Hair, Lora for a relaxer (it was time). You may not be aware of it, but there is a great deal of politics around black women’s hair. This ongoing dialogue about hair choices is the inspiration behind Chris Rock’s movie, Good Hair.  The politics or perhaps propriety of hair choice has spilled into the workforce too, in cases involving conflicts between employer’s grooming codes and black women’s hair choices. One of my labor and employment law colleagues, Angela Onwuachi-Willig the Charles and Marion J. Kierscht Professor of Law at Iowa, has written about this in a thoughtful piece entitled, Another Hair Piece: Exploring New Strands of Analysis Under Title VII. Although my choice of relaxed hair was a matter of convenience  and flexibility, the dialogue amongst sisters has caused me to question my choice, and even to defend it, on more than one occasion, and led to me a greater appreciation of natural styles.

Looking for a place to grab lunch, I stumbled across a new Indian restaurant in Rogers,  Chutny’s.  It’s huge, and what looked to be a 20 item buffet for lunch.  One item on the menu was fish, which I’d never ordered before in an Indian restaurant.  Some of you may know more about it, but I’ll give the best description I can.  It was prepared in small pieces, and had a reddish rub that looked like Tandori, but was spicier.  Many of the menu items were familiar, but others I tasted for the first time.  Everything was quite good, especially the butter chicken. If you’re in Rogers at lunch time, give it a try.

The next day I looked forward to, and as expected thoroughly enjoyed, lunch with Judy Schwab, Associate Vice Chancellor for Administration.  We went to Taste of Thai (forgot to get pics—sorry about that), off the square in Fayetteville. She and I had not been able to catch up for a good long while.  Judy is one of those people in my life who can sense when things are tough.  She’s showed up more than once, unexpectedly, but right on time, kind pick-me-ups.  Once, she even brought homemade chocolate chip cookies.  Now that’s a friend! Our lunch was a happy diversion, but I really did need to get some work done.  It was time to knuckle down on the article for St. John’s and that’s what I did the rest of the afternoon. To my delight, in the midst of it all I received an unexpected delivery from the florist. Thanks, my friend! Flowers are always a BIG plus, made better only by a pedicure at the end of the day at Nails First.

 

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