Groucho Mark

Don’t forget your glasses

After attending a recent university business meeting, one member of the group—a graduate student—came over and said I perked up the meeting.

She meant it in a nice way.

Your face lights up and I can see the gleam in your eye, she said.

It’s because I’m a trickster.

Now the secret is out.

Attending meetings is akin to being nibbled to death by ducks, as every reluctant bureaucrat knows.

My response is to treat meetings like theatre.

A performance.

You need to invoke humor. Irreverence. And kindness.

A Buddhist approach to butt-numbing meetings.

Find the humor and humanity.

At one meeting, my job was to signal each speaker when her time was ending.

I brought a pair of Groucho Marx glasses—the kind with a rubber nose and moustache.

I slipped on the glasses and glared at the speaker at the 5-minute wrap-up signal.

The levity helped brighten a dull afternoon.



About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. Dr. Coleman is an enrolled citizen of the Osage Nation.
This entry was posted in american indian, native american, writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Trickster

  1. Russ L says:

    Nanabozhu is our Trickster. He can take any animal form he wants. So theoretically, he could look like Groucho Marx…or you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hyuny says:

    This is why I love you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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