Professor Friedman’s Tribute Honoring Chair Hillis In thinking about David Hillis’ tenure as chair of the Faculty Council this year, I was led to recall the most famous speech in Shakespeare’s As You Like It. Jaques pronounces on life as public performance, which is perhaps the major task required of any chair of this organization. Jaques says, “all the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and entrances and one man in his time plays many parts. His acts being seven ages.” What are the seven acts that rise to the top of David’s time in office? Here’s my list: curriculum reform, intercollegiate athletics, the top 10% rule, gun-free campus, domestic partner benefits, bicycle-friendly campus, and of course, the Brackenridge Tract. Shakespeare offers various advice and insight on where time now may stand for David and on what follows for him. If these several quotations should sound ambiguous or even a bit contradictory that suggests perhaps how well they may reflect David’s own state of affairs and mind during this time of transition. From Antony and Cleopatra, “The strong necessity of time commands your service a while.” And, “you shall have time to wrangle in when you have nothing else to do.” From Comedy of Errors, “well, sir, learn to jest in good time: there’s a time for all things.” Back to Antony and Cleopatra, “let’s not confound the time with conference harsh, there’s not a minute of our lives should stretch without some pleasure now.” From Cymbeline, “doctor, your service for this time is ended; take your own way.” And Hamlet advises, “take thy fair hour, David [sic]; time be thine, and thy best graces spend it at thy will.” Finally, from All’s Well that Ends Well, “Three o’clock [sic], within these three hours, twill be time enough to go home.” “But in your hand I’ll put this clock [sic] that what in time proceeds may take token the future to your past deeds.” Perhaps you should come up at this moment, David.
In Faulkner’s Sound and the Fury, Mr. Compson, giving his son, Quentin, the family watch refers to it as the mausoleum of all hope and desire. He gives it, “not that you may remember time, but that you might forget it now and then for a moment and not spend all your breath trying to conquer it.” Going Mr. Compson, one better, and on behalf of the Faculty Council, here is a clock, thermometer, hygrometer that is regulated several times daily by a radio signal from the government’s atomic clock in Colorado. It will you allow to forget not only time but also temperature and humidity. We thank you for your time, sweat, and fervor as Faculty Council chair for 2008-2009. Congratulations, David.