I'm not trying to continue the last post's sports theme (I know, too much baseball), but I've been thinking about Jerry Maguire lately. Everybody remembers Tom Cruise yelling "Show me the money!" into the phone at Cuba Gooding, Jr., and how funny Cuba was (for which he won the Academy Award over the more-deserving William H. Macy (you remember his cringe-inducing performance in Fargo, right? )), and how cute Jonathan Lipnicki was, and how everyone learns their lessons about life and love and heart by the end. But to me, the best part of the movie is the first 10 minutes in which Jerry writes his manifesto (and gets fired for it--I guess there's a lesson in that, too). He stays up into the early morning pouring out everything in his head about what's wrong with his business and how it could be fixed. Of course, those fixes challenged the status quo, and if the s.q. is powerful enough (as it usually is) it will do its level best to crush those challenges. Of course, Jerry wins in the end, both spiritually and financially, so the takeaway is that you should always follow your heart in such matters. I don't disagree, but manifestoes are dangerous things. By now you've figured out that I must be working on one of my own. I have several minor ones already (just ask my Facebook friends about my strong stance on the toilet paper over/under debate), most of which are just that: minor. I can go on for hours (well, minutes anyway) about how life is too short for cheap beer. I am firmly opposed to flavorings in coffee; you can keep your stinking hazelnut, thank you. But these things don't count. They are merely a 40-year-old's crotchety opinions, a sort of pre-Andy Rooneyish commentary.
No, this one is more substantive. I was hired by UF to bring a new perspective to the Honors Program. I've been here for 4 1/2 months now and I've formed some opinions. Strong opinions. The question now is what to do to change those aspects of the culture that I find disquieting. Inevitably, they must be written down and circulated, manifesto-style. Resistance from some parties is likely to follow. I've gotten generally favorable responses to the little bits I let slip in meetings, but you never know how a cohesive whole will be received.
I guess I'll know for sure if I get invited to lunch at The Swamp by a Bob Sugar type. Stay tuned.