24 November 2006

Court of Intrigue

Now that it's Thankgiving Break, I've been trying to catch up on my reading. My book club picks three at a time and then we meet over the next three months to talk about things. The book for November is The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory. Historical fiction is really not my first choice when I'm reaching for something fun to read, but the author did a decent job with the characters. There couldn't be much in the way of suspense. It's like Titanic. You know how it's all going to end before you even start reading.

The interesting part of the process of reading the book was how much the court of Henry the Eighth reminded me of working in Curriculum. Okay, so Boss Lady 2.0 does not physically resemble that monarch, but we specialists are courtiers in one way or another. The elementary literacy person, with her ladies in waiting (a/k/a instructional coaches), is pretty darned close to Catherine of Aragon. She might have been the first to gain the king's favor, but his eye is wandering elsewhere. He is looking to the Pope (a/k/a superintendent) to find a way to divorce her somewhat gracefully.

We may not be living and working in an early 16th century English court, but all of the intrigue is still the same. Who will curry the king's favor next? Who can capture his attention...and who will lose her head in the budgetary beheadings this spring?

Boss Lady 2.0 has been out among the people...traveling from building to building getting some input about the state of the monarchy. Some bow deeply while others have clumps of manure in their hands, ready to throw at her. On the surface of things, she seems a popular choice: a person who can solve problems with a magical phone call. But this cavalier approach (as another courtier described it) only serves to backfire on those of us who have a more global view of things. There is never any pause for reflection or weighing of evidence. It is no danger to her---no one would dare to displeasure the king---only to we courtiers, striving to make get our families (subject areas) into better favor.

Somehow, I doubt that the next pick for our Book Club, Funny in Farsi, will have anywhere near the parallels with life in the Court of Curriculum. It's nice when books take you to a different place rather than striking so close to home.

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