(Warning, this is a rant)
Preface: I love and adore my students. Being in the classroom is the only reason I’ve stayed at this job as long as I have.
First, let me give a little background: I am currently the only full-time faculty in my department. It is a fucking big department. I am the only one. We have tons of part-timers who come and go so fast I have kinda stopped trying to remember their names, but I am the only person who is full-time.
When I started there was tons of money (from a grant) two full-time faculty, and tons of campus support. Now there is me, attempting to do my job with no budget, little to no help, and a work load that could easily keep four people busy full-time.
Oh, and there are the budget cuts. I am now teaching an extra class and not getting paid any more to do it. That is 25 more people to worry about and the extra four hours spent in class.
I was so burnt out after the last academic year that I seriously considered quitting, even if it meant finding a minimum wage job (which I probably wouldn’t get, ‘cuz I have an MS in Physics).
When I first started working here there was money, and support, and people. I was enthusiastic and excited about what we were doing: trying to help seriously at-risk students be successful in college and get out of poverty (I’m still excited about that, but that is not germane to my thesis). When someone asked me to do something, I said yes. Work got spread around, everyone was helping, it was all good.
Now, I am not even asked. Apparently, I am not even told any more when I’m going to do something. When I very clearly state to the department, my bosses, etc. what needs to be done and that I can not possibly accomplish it on my own, I’m told a) that it does not need to be done, b) that everyone can certainly do that for themselves, c) “oh, okay” and completely ignored. Months or weeks later, when it isn’t done, I am met with shock and bewilderment that I haven’t finished yet.
It was decided (over my protests) that every one (every one being me and a bunch of part-timers who teach their class and leave) could make their own midterms. Okay, great. I do my own thing, which is not really shareable, because it didn’t need to be. And then the emails start coming from adjuncts: “I need the midterm to give out. I have students who are ready for it.” I very calmly responded and proposed that if people wanted to work together to create one, I would help coordinate that effort. Seriously, I impressed myself with the complete lack of the term fuck-tard in my response.
We also have campus wide committees on a volunteer basis. I did not volunteer because I don’t have any fucking time. I also expressed my complete lack of time and the enormous amount of work that wasn’t getting done to our Dean. In the past two days I’ve started to receive emails about campus committees that were extremely specific, not something you would send out to the general faculty. Then I realized they were only being sent out to specific people. I was fucking volunteered for two committees without even fucking knowing about it. Now, I have to take time out of my insane-person schedule to go explain to however many people that I will most definitely not be serving on any committees, and they can all go fuck themselves because I will no longer be bending over.
Sometime this year, in this messed-up bureaucratic nightmare I find myself in, I will have to re-apply for my job (and the job of the 3 other people they are never going to hire). After a week like this, I would rather we eat ramen for the next five years that continue being treated like this.
I want to re-iterate. I LOVE teaching. I also love our students. They are fucking fantastic. If I could just do the job I was actually hired to do, I would never leave. However, it has been over a year since I could actually just do my job.