Goodbye Blue Monday

Blogging lite because the load is Monday night heavy. Stampede Green
played yesterday; Blue played tonight at six. They won. That’s one
reason why Blue Monday. Lots more games this week, though. Sheesh. ESPN has a lot of basketball?
Games on Wednesday, Friday and, if the Blue team wins, up to two more on
Saturday. Green on Sunday. It’s all clearer here.
Worked through ten close reading essays since the game ended around 7:00
p.m. Now Leno’s on; Dave too. That means it’s approaching bedtime late, so I
should get started on some other things for tomorrow.

Why else Blue Monday? Punchclawkicking through the usual
battles (no, not really…I’m decorous, polite for the most part…since I don’t
have much club-wielding authority). Is it inevitable that as higher ed
institutions blend corporate, they’ll continue to test the limits of reasonable
working conditions in FY composition and other high-enrolling gateway
courses? I ask because I’m grumpy that once again (for the fourth time in
two years) I’m articulating reasons why adjunct instructors should not be
allowed to teach more than two sections of writing-intensive FY composition in
an accelerated, eight-week format. It’s as much an issue of working
conditions as it is a question of the degree of care and attention I contend are
due to all students. After all, some instructors welcome a cyberspace
crowded with students because online adjuncting pay rates correlate to student
enrollments where I’m at. What’s more, essays come in on six of the eight
Sundays. With two sections, that means 50 essays in one instructor’s email
inbox every Sunday for six weeks: the greatest load I can imagine anyone
handling with due care. Now (learnt today), for the term ahead, one
instructor is assigned to three sections, which, following the formula for
maximum caps in online courses, equates to 75 students in an eight-week
term. That’s why Blue Monday. That’s why Goodbye Blue Monday.

Addendum, 11:07 p.m.: I’m back. I don’t have the gusto to pull apart everything I’ve asserted here. For example, I don’t think FY comp is merely a sequence of “gateway” courses. I do have serious gripes about working conditions as well as quality of teaching and learning when overloads become normal. If I had authority, I wouldn’t necessarily carry a club for inspiring action by brute force. That’s all the revision I can muster right now, but I was feeling mildly inhibited about using EWM for a burst of workplace grouchiness.