Monday, July 25, 2011

On unworkable schedules and H8te

Two unrelated rants:

Rant 1: Twenty years ago, our college made the switch from quarters to semesters. Instead of starting after labor day and ending after memorial day, we now start the week before labor day and end mid-May. The only problem is, the 10-month faculty's contract time still runs from mid-August to mid-June, leaving us with one week to prepare for fall classes (with Blackboard content made open to the registered students the week before we officially return), and a full month to sit around doing a whole lot of nothing after the spring semester ends. When administration is asked about moving the contract year to start and end early, we get responses of "that would create far more problems than it would resolve" and a patronizing "you don't really understand the implications of making that change" and other bullshit. Thankfully, my department chair has for years -- despite explicit orders from higher up forbidding this practice -- allowed me to leave then return early, since it's just not effective to do all of the prep work required for my hands-on CIS courses that far in advance. Unfortunately, she's retiring at the end of this calendar year, so things could change dramatically depending on who takes her place.

Rant 2: I'm not even in the office and I can see the mass of delight and congratulations being showered on my co-worker for her recently announced engagement. While I'm genuinely happy for her, for me it only emphasizes the deep silence that was the response when I announced my plans to marry my Spouse in California, before Proposition H8te passed. I get it that I live in a county where 2/3 of the votes for Senator were for a right-wing Tea Party nutcase (though thankfully the final vote went to her opponent), where people talk openly about how the recently passed civil unions bill (which decriminalizes our marriage, since we were not simply not recognized as married, we could have been fined or even jailed for it) is the work of the "forces of evil that must be conquered", and where our county council and school boards fight to be allowed to open their meetings with a Christian prayer. I've never had any real expectations of support, but it doesn't stop me from recognizing that I work with a bunch of homophobic assholes.


  1. homophobic assholes suck

    Belated congratulations on your marriage!

  2. Hey, many congratulations on your marriage! I hope you have/have already had many happy years together!

  3. Re rant 1: I hate that kind of poorly thought out crap that winds up causing grief for the people who actually have to run the courses.

    Re rant 2. I'm sorry you work with people who apply standards and social graces along those lines. But congratulations to you two and your families on your marriage!

  4. I hope you have some strong faculty leadership on your campus regarding #1. The answers you are getting are patronizing at best. I hate the assumption that faculty aren't capable of understanding administrative decisions. If those decisions have any real reasoning behind them, people will be more likely to support them.

    For #2, it's sad that some people are more equal than others. This is true not only with sexual orientation but with other factors within a given college or department such as seniority, connections, race, and gender. Several years ago, I watched as one of the silverbacks in my department got a huge party and a cake for becoming a grandmother for the first time. Meanwhile my office mate, a person not so venerated for several of the reasons on my preceding list, had also become a grandmother for the first time three days earlier and got nothing other than an "Oh yeah, congratulations to you too" at the party for the first woman.

    I wish you a happy marriage and rapid faculty turnover so that you might get some better colleagues.

  5. Ugh, I am so sorry about #2 in particular. How demoralizing. And how scary that any of these bigots are involved with higher education.

    A belated congratulations to you and your spouse. I feel ever more lucky that I did the same thing and my colleagues were almost hilariously effusive about it. Can we be your colleagues and throw you an online party?

  6. Aw, that's awful. Both, but especially the second. When someone finds the person to love, who loves them in return, everyone should celebrate.

    I'll bring some rum drinks to your virtual celebration!

  7. #1 Yep, bad.
    #2 Garnered you online love and support, though. Add my congratulations too!

    New rant: I get kinda crabby about the kid thing and the wedding thing. I don't give a flying fuck about others' reproductive choices or marital status, especially if I'm expected to spend money. Nobody threw me a shower and bought gifts when our family added fur-babies. Species-ism sucks.

  8. #1: Administrative logic. Someone in those comments said that this is an oxymoron right up there with "military intelligence."

    #2: On behalf of Breeders, I apologize for the bigoted reaction of your colleagues. (But if your wedding announcement was also when you came out to them, that could explain some speechlessness. Not that it excuses it.)

    Also, congratulations! Here's some music for your virtual reception: Roy Zimmerman's
    "Defenders of Marriage."

  9. Move to Canada, babe, where a politician's career can be ruined if he/she makes homophobic comments and where gay marriage has been legal and cause for little comment for years. Still, it doesn't stop people from mindless homophobia, like assuming everyone around them is straight or not quite valuing gay marriages as being the same as straight ones, or, and this is my personal favourite, asking why queers have to make "such a big deal" about it simply by being out. If I were ever to meet the right woman, though, I'm pretty sure my department would throw me a shower (or whatever they're called). That wouldn't be the miracle. My finding the right woman would be the miracle.

  10. Awww, you all are the best!

    Oh and Eskarina,I LOVE that video! And I'd been out for 8 years, and the speechlessness was not because they didn't know but because *gasp* I actually TALKED about it! ::rolling eyes::

    Now, back to trying to stealthily try and plan a short pre-fall-semester-madness getaway weekend for our three year (legally married)/ten year (illegally married) anniversary. :)

  11. Poor Granny. I can't believe you have to live in that kind of environment. I was naive enough to think that post-secondary faculty had evolved past that. They have here. I now realize that I am fortunate.

  12. Yikes, Granny! Like issyvoo, I thought those days were over for educated folks too. How awful.

    Enjoy your getaway weekend! Just don't tell anyone about it -- it's so offensive to share joy. ;-)

  13. The "why do they have to advertise it?" line always gets me, too, especially since it nearly always seems to come from someone with family pictures on the desk, wedding (and often engagement *and* anniversary) rings on the finger, and a habit of talking volubly about the details of his/her own everyday life, including opposite-gender spouse.

    Belated belated congratulations on your wedding, Granny. I'm very sorry that you weren't properly (and equitably) congratulated by your colleagues. One of the influential figures in my own life is a gay man -- an organist/choirmaster -- who was with his partner for over 35 years. Sadly the partner died about 5 years ago, just before same-sex marriage became an option in a number of states (though still not the one to which they retired, or the one in they lived for much of their relationship, and in which I still live). There was a very big turnout for the partner's memorial service, despite the relationship having held more or less "don't ask don't tell" status for many years (in talking to a reporter who noticed the partner's fully acknowledged presence at his retirement party, he described it as an "open secret," which by that time it was -- but even having to put one's most central relationship in that status strikes me as quite a burden). I'm sure the great majority of those who attended the memorial service would much rather have attended -- or at least congratulated them on -- their wedding. Even without the formalities, as far as the "in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer"/mutual support, love, and encouragement part of the institution goes, it was unquestionably a marriage, and an exemplary one at that. May yours be as long (or even longer) and as rewarding.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.