Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Ridiculous Posters

Maybe those posters would not have gotten posted if they weren't so ridiculous to start with. Maybe if instead of bullying other grad students, embarrassing colleagues with coercion and misreadings of theory, monopolizing board space, calling out faculty, stickering over any surface that could be found, including the University of Vermont MFA program and other posters just because you decided your issues were more important that anything that could have been up on those boards, pretending like you are the only thing that exists, then maybe, just maybe people wouldn't be mocking the posters.

Maybe if their were a respectful, lucid, and collective thought and platform being presented instead of a bunch of childish, then maybe this could have all been avoided. From the start of the semester, the posters, while raising awareness, lowered the level of discourse to childishness that couldn't be taken seriously. Maybe if you didn't post them on this site like a badge of honor that we were all supposed to laud you for, for your clear wit and intelligence, then maybe you'd have more support.
And maybe if this campaign had all happened when the workload actually changed, and not three years later when you had several classes of students, including many of you, signing on and getting paid exactly what was promised to them, two classes, you'd have a little more clout on the issues that do seem to matter. The funding cuts, the lack of professional development (although clearly many posters on this site resist the idea that there is any room for improvement in their teaching), health insurance for MA students with a teaching load, and the desire for more class options are all real issues that have gotten hidden by the sloganeering.
There is serious amount of defensiveness among this group that is counter-productive, if those vocal and abusive of you could listen to other sides of things, then there could be a little more dialogue about these issues.