Meetless Wednesday

Meetless Wednesday


Leonard Zwelling

When I was in elementary school some 70 years ago, the cafeteria did not serve meat on Friday. Meatless Friday was a nod toward Catholics who did not eat meat on that day. The main meal was usually fish sticks. They were awful. It was best to bring your lunch on Friday. There was not enough ketchup to kill the taste of a formerly frozen, breaded piece of processed seafood dressed up with breading.

I have recently learned that in the Second World War, Americans were encouraged to go meatless on Tuesday to save the protein for the troops. This was written about in a column in The Wall Street Journal (above) suggesting that what the country needs is Trumpless Thursdays, a 24-hour holiday each week from any mention of Donald Trump by the media. I actually find Trump beyond entertaining, so I wouldn’t favor that, besides his followers would consider Trumpless Thursday another liberal plot against their folk hero. For the MAGA crowd, a day without Trump is like a day without outrage.

I thought all of this was a bit dated until I have learned that Dr. Pisters is now proposing that there will be no meetings at MD Anderson on Wednesday afternoons. This is truly curious as the President’s Advisory Council meets on Wednesday afternoon. Does that mean he will erase his own advisors? I think he’s already done that anyway. He really doesn’t listen to anyone and if he did, which one of the yes-men and yes-women around him would ever dare to challenge his will let alone have a novel idea?

Nonetheless, Meetless Wednesday afternoons is not an all-bad idea. Surely everyone could use fewer meetings. I just find it curious that Pisters chose Wednesday, the exact time the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate has been meeting for years. Do I think this is yet another attempt by Pisters to undermine the Senate and negate shared governance? Of course, I do. If there is one thing that is certain about Tsar Peter I it is that he does not like to be challenged in any way, especially by those he considers his inferiors as he does the Senate and its leadership.

I have a better idea for Dr. Pisters. How about actually meeting with the ECFS or the whole Senate and taking a few unplanned questions from the faculty he thinks he’s leading, but isn’t? Now that would be a novel move on his part.

It’s not that Meetless Wednesday afternoons are all bad, it’s just that the whole rest of the week with Pisters is basically fruitless. If he could change that, we might be approaching an administrative meal where none of the seven basic food groups are left out. Let’s start with that, Dr. Pisters. Meet with the Faculty Senate—anytime, anywhere. And, oh yes, listen to what they have to say. Now that would be truly novel.

Dr. Zwelling’s new novel, Conflict of Interest: Money Drives Medicine and People Die is available at:,

on amazon if you search using the title and subtitle,


directly from the publisher Dorrance at:

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