a bit of a rant, if you will:
the paradigm is not local. it is not US and THEM. it is a war built on financial structures that favor the rich/capitalists, structures quietly altered continually since the Neocon Revolution got Reagan elected.
in other words, we may be deck chair arrangers on the Titanic, or we may be locked in steerage awaiting the ice berg. Making the Best, Going Along to Get Along, Taking Positive Steps may be like smiling while the ship of state shoves into dark frozen waters.
"Buck up! Don't worry so much! Global warming oughta zap that sucka right outta the water!"
it's like that locksmith who changes the locks on foreclosed houses (on NPR last night), "One lady wrote herself a to-do list I found on the fridge: get a job, get Tommy into private school, think positively."
the war screwed the economy and all the to-do lists on earth are not going to stop a lot of foreclosures. the problems we are facing are not personal, Sonny. it's business.
how can we make things more BEARABLE? we don't want BEARABLE. we want to THRIVE. that's our problem. we want something GREAT to happen with us and around us. we want the department to thrive. we don't want things just to be bearable - we want things to be GREAT.
what i don't get is how the university can thrive without us. if we are not thriving, how can everyone else? we are the infrastructure. we are the roads and bridges to everywhere the university and the undergraduates want to go. the U can build bombs and germs, but sooner or later it's going to show that kids graduate from here functionally illiterate. they will hold degrees in finance and biomed, but have no clue how to say what they mean because it is graduate students who teach that stuff and the department was too overextended to give graduate students all the time EVERYONE needed to grow as writers.
we want things to be great. great isn't a crew of exhausted graduate students, many not paid enough to survive and therefore not supported in their own work, while treated by the paying customers (undergraduates) as bar taps.
Another round! Attention, garcon! We PAID for it!
i have a dream that the administration will soon realize that crumbling the infrastructure of the university (the language people) will not serve the needs of the military-industrial-biomed-financial complex the university serves.
too great a cognitive leap? we'll have to write smaller steps. we are the roads and bridges and water treatment plants. we are the ducts and the conduits. without us, the place goes to shit (slowly, like a leaky pipe, but inevitably, not for want of trying to plug the holes before the rising waters...).
i think the university should be more generous with us because if you starve, overburden and kick your mule until it dies, you walk and schlep your own schlock.
besides, we're fun. and nice. and wicked clever and stuff. alas, that cuts no ice with them ("AHHH, the BERG!"). okay, back to serious work. as it were. moreover. commenting on undergraduates' work, of course.