|This was the original|
Early Thirsty graphic.
I told Cal nobody would
give a shit.
This morning I got an email from my main Dean, the one in charge of us part-timers.
He wrote: "It's come to my attention that you are not meeting your classes regularly. There have been a number of complaints. As your future employment here depends on this, please get in touch with me today."
Well, it's not true. I've not missed a single class in the past year. But I do meet classes in two locations: 24 times we meet in our regular classroom. 6 times we meet in a writing lab, 7 doors down the hallway. Lab days are sometimes poorly attended, but everyone knows about them.
I communicate this info to my students in the syllabus, out loud in class, on the whiteboard, and in a weekly fucking email I send them.
Once I reached the Dean and told him this, he told me that the "number" of complaints was 2, and I asked for the names, which he wouldn't give.
"Fine," I said, "but anybody who tells you that I didn't meet my classes is lying."
"Well," the Dean said, "I have a note here saying you did not meet your class last Wednesday morning. Students came right to my office."
Here's a relevant detail. To go from our classroom to the Admin building, one walks down a long hallway that includes - wait for it - our open lab door.
Anyway, I tried my explanation again and the Dean said, "Well, let's try to do a better job of letting your students know where you're going to be when you're not meeting class regularly."
"Okay," I said, "but for as long as I've been here I've made use of our tech labs in order to help the students get their essays done. I assure you that everyone who's ever been in my classroom knows about these meetings; they aren't unusual or given by surprise."
He sort of sighed. "Well, let's make more of an effort to tell everybody."
"Okay," I said. "But beyond the syllabus, the classroom, the whiteboard, and email, how else can I communicate something like this?"
"Well," he said, "some long time instructors call students on the telephone."
And then I waited, waited for a chuckle, or at least a wry groan of "Why has it come to this?"
But there was nothing.
I was one breath away from asking, "How about if I just drive to their fucking houses each morning and pick them up in my car? I could deliver them right to the right spot?" But of course I didn't, because I'm a small, small man, who is so desperate for my $3k a class that I'd eat shit as long as there wasn't two servings.
Q: Does anyone else have this expectation where you teach? When students simply complain about something that is legitimately not your fault, do you have to play some kind of game, or do something about meeting students' needs that just feels wrong? Is it wrong to think about quitting a job I like because this mindset seems so perverse?