Inspired by the record-breaking warmth, I did some spring-cleaning this weekend. I put up the screens, put out the hoses, hung up my heavy winter bike and dusted off my summer commuter, swept out the garage, and moved some compost around.
I also got a haircut and shaved off my beard. It's that last part that has me worried.
I kept the deer-hunting beard past November this year for two reasons. First, I could. When I was mayor it got attention, and I kept having to explain it. This just wasn't worth it. Second, I'm doing some teaching at the UW this semester, and the beard created the impression that I knew what I was talking about.
Now, it's gone and with it the whisker of credibility it supported. For the rest of the semester, I'm left with nothing but my own knowledge and perspective. As you can imagine, this will be problematic for everyone involved.
Actually, last week The Badger Herald published a nice story about my foray into academia. The story notes that one of the nice things about teaching is that my students more or less have to pay attention to me, which is a nice contrast with, say, the Madison Common Council or other audiences I had when I was mayor.
Anyway, I'm having a heck of a good time with it and we'll see how it goes without the professorial facial hair.