Tuesday, April 04, 2017
Today I parked in the Dean's parking spot. Her car was not occupying it at the time so I thought to myself "Isn't it time you put some of your academic freedom to use?" And I then thought to myself "Yes, Chadsworth, go ahead an park in her spot. Express yourself in a way that may lead to controversy."
She called later that day, having recognized my 288 BMW Super Z car with the "Eat More Fruit" bumper sticker, and expressed some displeasure. I hit her with "academic freedom" and she got very, very quiet -- so quiet that I could barely hear the subdued "oh" as she hung up the phone. Chalk one up for free expression. So much for vivacity!
I kind of feel the same way about the times I teach class. My time, or should I say the time I feel most free, is 1-2 Monday - Wednesday. Assigning me any other time is an infringement on my academic freedom as, I might add, is the requirement that I give my exams on certain days. I'll give them when I am good and ready. In fact, part of my academic freedom extends to my teaching -- including whether I choose to meet class -- and most definitely to the type of exam I give and even more most definitely to the day I give the final exam and most, most definitely to whether I will allow the students to use number 2 pencils on their multiple choice exams. So what if the machines will not read anything other than number 2 pencils? Pencil choice is a critical part of my pedagogical divinity.
Thank goodness for academic freedom or we professors might be discouraged from doing research and expressing views that cause others to think. You can imagine the profound message inherent in my pencil allocation decision. Sadly, one of the things that most gets in the way of academic freedom is teaching or, even worse, teaching something just because the students need it or it is on the bar exam.
Life is hard when you deserve everything and only get 99%.
Monday, April 03, 2017
Yes, it's that time of year again -- teaching schedules for the next two semesters. And, as usual, when I filled in the form asking for my preferences, I gave the Deans all kinds of options. I am willing to teach Monday-Wednesday at 1-2 or Monday -Wednesday 1:05-2:05. Mornings are out! I spend the morning reading the Times until my massage at 11. Lunch is at noon. But what do they give me? Monday - Wednesday 2-3. These people do not know who I am. Do they have me mixed up with someone who went to a state school?
And what lowlife did they give my times to? I will find out and, when I do, that person will pay especially if he or she is untenured. Geez!
Thursday and Friday are off limits because I am expected to spend those days at my condo on the beach when I am not consulting, that is. I mean, otherwise, why have a condo on the beach? It just would not pay. I cannot possibly teach later than 2:30 the other days because I need to wind down after a hard day and how can I do that in the mere hour between 3 and 4, when I have to leave for my personal training. If I do not get the training in by 5, I can forget about making it to the club in time for cocktails.
I'll tell you what. I will email my students and tell them that we meet at 1-2 Monday-Wednesday. I'll tell them it is in room 108 because I like the lighting there and it is close to my office and my teaching assistant (who actually does most of the actual meeting with students) also thinks 108's colors complement my wardrobe. Like the little critters, I am really getting mad now just thinking about the disrespect. Let the bastards work it out when my 8 students show up.
But wait, it gets even worse. I have told them repeatedly to schedule my classes concurrently, Instead they put one of my 3 credit courses in the fall and one in the spring. What is it with these incompetent people? Don't they know I need to compress my 6 hour teaching schedule into 3 hours one semester a year so I can do my writing and be of service to the school (at the condo at the beach)?
What a hard life it is when you deserve everything and only get 99% of it.