Dean for a Day with Margaux Novak and Jeffery Braden

February 1, 2010
By Chris Richter

Last Thursday, Jeffery Braden, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, switched places with Margaux Novak, a junior English major at NC State. He did everything she would do on a typical Thursday, and she took his schedule. Both wrote about the experience for Technician.

A couple of my favorite notes from Dean Braden’s day:

6:56 a.m. – I get dropped off at the IHOP on Park and Hillsborough, where I go in, order a cup of coffee, fire up my laptop and prepare to open the envelope titled “Detailed Schedule” Margaux handed to me on Monday. The first line of my instructions for this morning says: “Think about going to IHOP for a well-rounded breakfast — and then remind yourself it is not in your price range and that the rent is due in three days.” I close the menu with a mixture of disappointment and relief — disappointment that I won’t get a hot breakfast and relief that I won’t have to “out” myself by ordering from the senior menu.

And at Carmichael…

1:25 p.m. – I am prepared — I have a bathing cap, mask, snorkels, water wings, inflatable Snoopy ring and diving fins on and in place. Kimberly, the photographer from the Technician, is there to capture the spectacle. The instructor comes by and vows that I’ll actually have to wear all that in the pool. Happily, she doesn’t follow through on her threat. We stretch, and then jump in the pool for more stretching and eventually for our workout. During the stretching, I introduce myself to a guy standing in the pool next to me. He asks me to repeat my last name, and then says, “Yeah, I thought so.” I ask, “What do you mean?” He smiles and tells me that he took Psychology 200 (Intro) from me a couple of years ago. We both laugh at the probability that we’d end up in the pool together for class. Since I know a lot of people will ask, let me say I was neither the best nor the worst student in the class — but I was definitely the best AARP member in the pool!

Look for an interview with Dean Braden in the spring issue of NC State magazine.


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