February 26, 2009
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Since I am now a quasi-official (or, at least, honorary) grown-up at my university, I need a staff ID card. To obtain the card, I had to fill out a form and send it off for official approval. Once official approval was granted, I was told to present myself to security, who would check that I am who I claim to be, photograph me and, some days later, issue a card. How would security check that I am who I claim to be? By checking that I look like the picture on… my student or staff ID card. Now, as it happens, I do have a student card. However, since not all new staff members pupate into faculty, having first been students here, this can’t be the entirely accurate description of the process of obtaining a staff card. So I mentioned the issue. “Uh…” came the confused response, “You need a card…” voice rising slightly, “to get a card?” “That’s what it says,” I pointed helpfully at the form. Some rustling. Another form. “Why don’t you just use this one?” A form exists, then, that provides a means for becoming a staff member… from the outside…
But perhaps I prefer the immanent reflexivity of the former process?