WORKIN’. Is it just me, or is this an especially busy semester?
Last week, I—and five or six other instructors, among others—finished work on a search for IVC’s first full-time Film Studies instructor. That went very well, I think. With any luck, we’ll hire someone soon and great things will begin to happen in the area of Film (and TV, etc.), starting in the Fall.
Yesterday, I finished work on a search for an Art History/Museum hire. That went well, too, I think. The committee was terrific. (Next come the second-level interviews.)
Most of my colleagues have been on at least one of these search committees in recent months, and some of us have been on two or three or more. The paper screening alone can take twenty or more hours. And it’s tedious, boy. Then come the interviews and deliberations, which can take days. (I recall one committee I served on that did its interviews for two days on the weekend.)
During this last semester, I've chaired two student grievance committees, a task the involves setting up meetings, writing letters, and whatnot. (Like service on search committees, such work is uncompensated.) Many of my colleagues regularly do this kind of work, which can be difficult.
At the last board meeting, on Monday, Trustee Tom Fuentes—who once complained about instructors’ alleged 36-hour work week—was perplexed when he learned that faculty go through something like 1000 curriculum changes per year (at IVC alone). IVC Academic Senate Prez Wendy G, among others, tried to explain this to him.
The fact is that most of our district’s trustees haven’t a clue what instructors do.
Last year, Board President Don Wagner worked with a team of faculty (among others) on our college’s accreditation problems. His exposure to faculty over those many months led him to a new appreciation of IVC personnel. To his credit, since that time, he has gone out of his way to praise and appreciate these people. His “eyes have been opened,” he said.
That’s great. But Don has been on the board since freakin’ 1998. How can it be that our faculty’s virtue, earnestness, and hard work have come to his attention only recently?
Hey trustees! I hereby invite you to a ride-along! Wanna experience my day? Wanna know what people like me really do?
You don’t have to hang with me, of course. I’m sure that many faculty at IVC and Saddleback would be more than pleased to have you tag along.
–And don’t forget to come home with us, too, to watch us process a huge pile of student writing. It'll be like watchin' paint dry.
Once in a while, I check out the local college papers.
This time, I didn’t find much.
This story from the Lariat is pretty old, but it’s interesting:
Saddleback College Lariat: Author [Anouar Majid of the University of New England] says dissent is good for U.S.
“We need free thinkers in society,” Majid said. “We need heretics.” ¶ According to Majid, we should reject our “culture of obedience”and think for ourselves. For Majid, this means questioning how the Bible became a published book or why God allegedly spoke to only a handful of prophets.
Yes, dissent is good. We’ve always said so here at, um, Dissent.
Here’s proof that virtually nothing ever happens at OCC. One of their paper’s big stories is:
The OCC Coast Report: Faculty upset by campus policy
Orange Coast College faculty members are rallying behind Literature and Languages division secretary Betty Rodriguez, who is being required to pay for keys stolen in a recent theft. ¶ English department faculty members are circulating a petition condemning the OCC policy that requires Rodriguez to pay for keys stolen out of the Literature and Languages buildings.
Yep, a slow news day.