Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Other Folks in the Boat.

Everyone talks about their snowflakes, and I have many, but let me a take a moment to shout out to my fellow comrades in arms.

  • Professor “I’m coasting to Retirement” – All of us junior faculty are painfully aware that you are the lead faculty member and it is your prerogative to set course policies (textbooks used, labs required, etc.). Mainly this is due to you telling us this repeatedly at department meetings. However, just because you don’t want to change any of your teaching materials, doesn’t mean the field has stopped changing. Please take a moment to look outside of your office and realize that the 21st century has come and we need to catch up with it.

  • Professor “Golden Load” – It is nice when class schedules are divided up by seniority. I wish I could demand a schedule that worked around my Wednesday golf game and my Monday three-martini lunch. No, I trudge on with whatever classes are left, pulling together something that won’t keep my 2 year old in daycare too much, or cost me a small fortune in wasted gas… well, at least I am not an adjunct, sorry guys, but we all have to get the best schedule we can.

  • Dean “Touchy-Feely” – You are right, the last time you evaluated my class it was a performance put on for you. I have tried for years to show you how my highly technical field needs to be taught, but you continue to tell me there isn’t enough “active learning” in my class. Dear God, what the hell do you think lab is… my class has a minimum of 50% active learning (which is probably more than your beloved English courses), but I cannot win. So this year, rather than fight, I took a whole class and threw the content out the window, focusing on the way my students felt about the material (as if that changes the answers somehow). You loved it, but my students came back the next day and told me it was a waste of time.

  • Vice-President “Your Ass is Mine” – Ah, the reason we have tenure. I know you don’t like me, but then again, I don’t like you either. I do respect you in a weird way; you know your job (campus gargoyle and President’s hatchet man) and you do it extremely well. I wish the Deans would push back every once in a while… but until then, remember what your mom told you about honey and vinegar.

  • President “I Care About You” – Actions speak louder than words, dude. Take a minute to stop and say hi to me when you run through my hall with prospective donors and I might be apt to believe you care about the faculty. You might get us lots of money, but you sure as hell don’t warrant my respect when you cannot bother to learn half the faculty’s names. I do a pretty good job with a few hundred new names a semester, you should be able to handle the couple hundred we have total.