Monday, February 23, 2004

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.

Bookmark and Share Posted by at February 23, 2004 11:04 PM to Slouching Toward