Friday, May 29, 2009

Another World Is Possible

Xero on "changing" higher ed. Clear vision and an angelic voice. Almost makes you glad to be alive.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

One Links List Deserves Another

Catching up with FACE.

nothing in his life became him


people that care about me don't like it
when i call myself a failure and so maybe
i oughta knock it off... but by golly,
there's sure good *evidence* for it
if you like that kind of thing.

i've referred to teaching
freelance as an "adjunct"
(after four years on the tenure-track)
as being "sent down to the minors"
and that's how it felt for a long time.
i still got to play the game.

and i even had a pretty good run:
thousands of students have learned
quite a bit of math with my help.
meanwhile, i got to talk to lots
of other teachers about the art.
still.

i haven't even *learned* anything
that counts as "being a pro" to me;
not anymore. i've gotten to be
a great math tutor as i see it
but am scared to even think about trying
to find paying tutees, for example.
and the point here is that *all* the
"professionalism" here (as always)
is *getting paid* and i'm worse than
a beginner at getting paid.

also a damn fine lecturer sometimes.
but a pisspoor assigner of grades.
i've gotten so bad at *this* that
i have to quit.

"i have to quit".
gee. when you put it like that
it almost feels like you're *not*
about to get a sinking feeling
that just *keeps* sinking.
as in, for about an hour just now
and no end in sight.

anyhow if you can handle *that*, try *this*:
i *want* to sell.

hint: you don't have to actually *believe* it.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Saturday, May 16, 2009

As Rome Burns

"The Universities in Trouble": Andrew Delbanco surveys recent lit in NYRB.

Friday, May 15, 2009

It Only Encourages Them

"Teacher Depreciation Week" by an uninspired teacher.

An internet-ancient (2004) post on grade inflation dedicated to the Invisible.

Changing higher ed: Sherman Dorn sums up.

listening the most precious thing

there's plenty of rope; plenty of lamp-posts. so the billionaires fear one thing most of all: free assembly. crowds are alright... free people are even kind of acceptable... but crowds of free people topple empires.

the "work" of the captives of the system: sit quietly and listen. if you do this well enough, they let you speak to some of the other captives... on the condition that you produce certain documents.

the purpose of these documents is reported to be "see why, eh?" but, no doubt due to my faulty wiring at the factory... i appear to've been some sort of experimental model or something... this scans as gibberish to me. what the system appears to require—as a sort of tax for having had access to all those precious listening ears—is an accounting: who was listening? to what? when? where? why were we not informed?

these documents replace the captive listeners in the next level of the hierarchy (as the most precious thing). and just as, ideally, no one will speak except the captive-in-front during a listening session, no document should "speak" by ever being actually read: each one should be so much like thousands of others that it can be filed and forgotten (until it can be safely destroyed; around here that takes about three months).

and then you move up, up, up... evidently there are robotic entities at some organizational level processing meta-reports about meta-reports... all to the effect "everything here still safely under control"—and essentially nothing else.

when "something goes wrong" the documentation tree must be actually searched; the goal is to determine which branches of the "tree" (what "student", "instructor", "committee", "department", "college", or whatnot) will be threatened with, typically, a requirement that they produce more bricks with less straw.

people can somehow live this way. without crawling up into books for several hours a day too, though that would certainly appear to be the easiest way.

heck, if you're allowed to read while you're supposed to be listening, it's hardly even a waste of time at all...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Dog Goes Right On Biting Man

Burnt-out Adjunct on an IHE thread on the erosion of tenure.

"Lessons for girls" at Not of General Interest (etc.)... polymorphously perverse boys can play too.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The University In Ruins

"Pedagogy of Debt, The"... in a beastly ad-ridden format alas... was my introduction to Jefferey J. Williams; next I found "Teach the University" (PDF) and "Debt Education: Bad for the Young, Bad for America" (an HTML page claiming to be a PDF... life is complicated). Go, look... find rooftop, shout...

The hat-tip goes to decasia... but this review of HTUW shows me that I prob'ly shoulda known about Williams from reading Bousquet...