Saturday, May 15, 2010

Study is Cleaner

Well, the study is cleaner now--books stashed somewhere else, bins organized for next semester's teaching, new books in a new place, stuff off of the floor, with a trash can's worth of paper gone.

It's a good thing it's done for a while, because right as I was finishing up, I got back an email from the librarian at my school. We're building a new library, or Materials Center, or whatever, and I'd asked if I could reserve one of the study rooms along the outside wall for my office hours. One hour a week. Her first response was, "What if all 80 of the adjuncts wanted to do that? We don't really want to get into scheduling."

I thought, Well, so what if they all 80 of us did? Isn't the main mission of the community college teaching? And shouldn't all the Admin be working to assist us in reaching our students and giving our best? And how hard is it to place a schedule card in the window?
I said, "Oh."

Then she said she'd suggest it and see what happened. Her email today said something to the effect of the Admin has decided that the rooms should be "first-come, first-served."

It was just my straw today.
I've been working for the last couple of weeks on deciding on textbooks, surveying the web for ideas for fall's classes, setting up syllabi, grading and scoring and wrapping up this semester's classes: all the various and sundry items outside of the classroom which keep a class running, for which I am paid not one red cent. Upon reading the response to my query I thought to myself, well, if the Admin doesn't care, why do I care so much? If they don't care to "get our backs" when we're trying to have office hours, then why do I try and keep office hours?

I wrote to my friend Judy, very upset at this whole thing, and she wrote back a confirming and affirming email, with this closing line: "Maybe we should crash graduation. You know, pretend we really work there."

It made me laugh out loud. I have had the attitude that I'm important, that what I do matters, that I help grease the great cogs of education over at my institution. The email shattered that pretense, putting me back in my little old adjunct place. But thanks to Judy, I can laugh about it.

So that's why falling into the pattern of stitching up my little green quilt, fingering the cloth, pressing the seams flat, and having something tangible to show for my labors is so seductive.

It's far away from the ivy towers of adjunct slavery--a place I don't have to visit for a nice, long summery while.


Judy said...

And yet... We continue to teach. (As you have pointed out, we could get a job and Crate and Barrel and make more money.) We do it because, in the end, we love what we do. We'd just like a little love back, wouldn't we?

Ruth Ferris said...

I love your gren quilt. It looks very revitalizing

Juliann said...

I wonder if I will ever understand why the powers that be do not ask the folks who do the work what they need in order to do that work. As an administrator, I try to remember to ask my teachers this question because if they are unhappy, my job just gets harder. I am glad that you are heading into summer break. enJOY your fabric!

The Barb Chronicles said...

looks like your ready for us to come and make a mess again! See you in two days! YAY!

CSL said...

A rest is as good as a change.