Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Sad Reality

It's good to write letters and post fliers and have meetings. Such things do promote solidarity and awareness, and we should continue to do them.

However...the sad reality is that none of this is going to change anything. All our protests are not going to lessen the load or increase our salaries. Most likely we will not see the return of the 117s or an increase in the number of years of funding. The question then becomes "How much are you personally willing to take?"

My advice for those who have completed coursework(and this is given in all sincerity and in complete support of the protesters) is this: Don't accept the assignment. Simply don't teach. Find another job that pays more than $9.92 per hour and doesn't require you to grade until you go blind. Take the student health insurance, which is quite good. Work part time and spend the rest of your time actually working on your dissertation or your other academic interests. Reclaim the parts of your life that you've neglected for this. It's not a divine calling: There's no need to exploit yourself or suffer indefinitely. If you've already taught a dozen classes on your own, you have teaching experience. No prospective university employer who is genuinely interested in you is going to not hire you simply because you refused to do this for a semester or two while you finished up here.