|Mr. President. I think he weighs less than a duck.|
I also meant to say in the last email I sent you, EMH is a terrific math teacher, when he is there and when his focus is on teaching us. I have struggled with math my entire life and I must say that his method of teaching is one that I can easilly absorb. It's his work ethic that needs a refresher course.
In another instance, I was waiting outside the room in which you were teaching, waiting to speak to another instructor. Two students who had left your class for a bathroom break conversed within earshot. The substance of their conversation reflected the same concerns above. I remember one quote: “Dude, I wish he’d decide if he wants to teach us or not.”
You missed class again the other day, and a staff member relayed student concerns that this was apparently the third time you have been absent from that particular section. Lack of consistency seriously impacts student learning—and student learning is our core mission. I know that the other Dean spoke to you approximately three weeks ago about staying focused on the task at hand. Basically, my question to you is whether you are prepared to make the necessary full commitment to teaching at WOLF359.
The question is not rhetorical, and it is not meant to sound threatening. We just have to provide our students a consistent, quality experience which requires instructors’ consistent presence, planning, enthusiasm and focus.
I just got hold of you, so I look forward to speaking later today. I’m going to go ahead and send this so you have the information necessary to contemplate your response.
Later that day... at the Dean's office
Dean: We don't want to sound like we are taking you for granted but, is there anything the college can do to help you?
EMH: Perhaps I could arrange a ride with one of the other instructors, since my bike keeps breaking down.
Dean: That is not a service that the college offers, unfortunately.
EMH: (puzzled) Um... okay, people carpooling is not unheard of. I tried to send out an email to everyone on the list, but our email system doesn't let adjuncts do that.
Dean: We banned adjuncts from doing that because of one faculty member who sent out inappropriate emails.
EMH: Am I even allowed to solicit rides from other teachers? (Thinking: WTF does he mean by "That is not a service that the college offers, unfortunately.")
Dean: Well, of course! It's just not something that the college itself offers as a service.
Dean: I hear all kinds of good things about you. But there are consistent concerns that pop up too.
And I mean this, this is not intended as a threat or rhetorical question, but are you ready to commit fully to teaching for us?
EMH: (Thinking: I'm about as committed in you as you are in me). Of course I'm committed!
EMH: (Glancing over at letter on screen) Her? I don't even know this person other than the fact that she is in my other class. She doesn't know me. Where does she get off writing a contradictory letter like that? Who is she to claim to know something about my work ethic? She has never once talked to me or attempted to get to know me. I went to church 2 weeks ago and met her husband. That is the extent of things.
Dean: Umm... I shouldn't have allowed you to see the student's name. Please don't do anything that could be perceived as retaliatory.
EMH: And look at the date on the email. April 2. (Thinking: And it's taken the college 2 weeks to talk to me about this). That was the day I was absent because I twisted my sciatic-nerve digging a trench for $8/hr. My whole body had been thrown into shock and I was up all night throwing-up.
Dean: You know, our other Dean also spoke to you about staying on task...
EMH: I do. The reason I got a talking to is because I referred that person for disrupting class. And
Dean: Yes, I know. And it's difficult because it's hard to tell if a complainer only represents the small 4 or 5 troublemakers or if they actually speak for the class. When a letter is written to the President, we have to take it especially seriously. When a student jumps over our heads, it looks especially serious.
Dean: Again, we hear lots really good things about you. The students love your teaching style. So, I don't want you to come away feeling taken for granted.
EMH: (Thinking: But only the complaints matter? Especially if written to the President? Why do I come away feeling like I've been spied upon and this is the beginning of the end?)