Monday, April 22, 2013
Great Lakes Greta Rants Sans Haiku
If it were just the snowflakes in the classroom, the semester would be miserable enough. Alas, we have adminiflakes and quasiadminiflakes dishing misery left and right and up and down and none of it smells like free cupcakes.
Super Duper Adminiflake Overlord has decided that even long-time faculty--as in, those teaching thirty years or so--need to put together teaching portfolios for brand-new evaluations. Schnell! Yes, these are people with tenure. Yes, there are contractual issues. Yes, the faculty will lose this issue.
Completely Useless Six-Figure Adminiflake has the new hires so cowed that they're afraid--literally afraid--to talk to the senior faculty, especially about how miserable they are. My probation (may it rest in peace) was miserable enough; new hires now are ridiculously mistreated, often given 48-hour deadlines to prepare elaborate assignments for useless new-hire meetings. Yes, there are contractual issues. Yes, we lose.
Hyper Controlling Quasiadminiflake is new to duties that oversee a Very Important Subdiscipline within our discipline. He is a control freak naturally and (apparently) a combination of masochist and sadist who enjoys a) taking on more than is necessary and 2) redirecting his panic at the faculty who teach in this subdiscipline (me, for example) so that we may be likewise overloaded and panicky and miserable. Twenty hours of meeting for his committee alone this semester. Twenty. That doesn't include the hours pouring over very poorly written email directives that had to be answered right the tea-party now! Schnell!
The students. Oh, my goddess, the students.
There's Insufferable Iris, who undermines me in class because she's so much tea-partying smarter than I am, right? She contradicted me outright in class today, and when I was in front of the class working with material for the class on the overhead (you know, teaching?), she blurted out, "Oh! You were right!" That she looked it up on her cell phone, a no-no in my classroom, is another story. She contradicts me every class, attempts to "explain" concepts to students who aren't getting it--making more work for me, because she's never correct--and wants to discuss her grades openly in front of the class. She is bright, no question. She is insufferable, too.
Then there's Obnoxious Abe, whose sole purpose seems to be to espouse some sort of sixtiesesque student anger, except that he's upset about things like parking and deadlines instead of war and inequity, and more than once has told me that I, Great Lakes Great, am The Man. He, too, disagreed with me in class the other day about a concept fundamental to the course. He tried to argue the point and I looked at him and said, "Abe, success in this class is a personal choice. Likewise, you may choose to fail." His pal who sits next to him, Fratboy Frank, even admonished him ("Dude! Shut up! She knows what she's talking about! She's the teacher!) and Obnoxious Abe sank further behind his desk and sulked for the rest of the class. Sadly, the sulking did not continue for more than one class period. When he sulks, he's silent.
Persecuted Patty is a delicate flower who shuns work but is very good at getting students to be on her side and see the persecution (which includes the aforementioned deadlines to which Obnoxious Abe objects). She has made noise--small noise, as she is tender--about going to my boss about the unfairness of my class rules. I have twice written down my boss's phone and office numbers on sheets of paper and handed them directly to Persecuted Patty. She has yet to consult with my boss.
Yes, these three grace the same, single section of Fundamentals of Hamster Communication.
There are more, many more. I don't even have the energy to deliver a proper smackdown at this point. I'm just bitching. I want to surface so that I'm not kicked off the island. Please don't take away my water-cooler privileges!
Two more weeks before this semester ends. I am teaching all summer long because I foolishly require money for outstanding medical bills. (My fault. I never should have fallen ill while an insuranceless adjunct prior to my full-time position at LD3C.) I have made it quite clear to all adminiflakes, however, that I am not meeting for any committee duties during the summer. They can't actually force us to do so in the summer and we all balk at it. It's only Hyper Controlling Quasiadminiflake who wants to and his committee is close to mutiny, so he's not going to push it.
I'm really tired. I've gained weight and lost sleep. The work I do is utterly meaningless. I am hoping that the week I get off between this semester and the next is enough for me to reset my inner sense of self. It may be long enough, at least, to write some trashy erotica and go for long walks on the nearby beach ... which may be enough. Maybe.
And now that I've vented, perhaps I'll be able to haiku again this week. I'm going to use haiku as a verb as often as I can in casual conversation this week, too. That may help, too.