I got a polite email the other day from a student asking to be overloaded into a class that's already overloaded. I politely said that I couldn't further overload the class.
From the teaching point of view, it's perfectly reasonable not to overload the class further. (I figure one or two students will drop to bring the load to reasonable levels with the current overload.)
I'm betting from the student's point of view, I'm just another brick in the wall of hoop jumping to finish the degree, though.
We all have fantasies that help us get through the day. One of mine is that I actually do meaningful work, make connections with students and colleagues, and make a positive difference on an individual level. Maybe sometimes I do, but sometimes, it's just an enabling fantasy, a fantasy that helps me stand in front of a class and try day after day, a fantasy that keeps me behaving with minimal composure at most meetings I go to.
One of the results of the budget crisis here, the furloughs, and the general pain is that it's harder to pretend my fantasy isn't just a fantasy. The crisis and the way the state and university are dealing with it make it clear that we faculty folks are really just bricks to be thrown around, to be mortared together here and there in some shape that pleases somebody with more power, who themselves feels like a brick being thrown or mortared or remaindered.
I really don't like feeling like just another brick.