What a summer. I feel like I'm still waiting for it to begin, and here we are on the first day of our fall contract period.
Have folks watched The Chair? Sandra Oh rocks, as, frankly, does the whole cast. It gives me anxiety.
The Bill Dobson character pisses me off. I'm sick of white men who screw other people's lives up without a second thought, and who just expect everyone to pick up their slack.
The Joan Hambling character seems most recognizable to me, and in some ways is the character I most identify with. (I identify with the role of the chair, but not with the extra challenges that Ji-Yoon Kim has had as an Asian American woman at that university.) And she's right, Chaucer IS badass.
As others have said before, the dead white guys aspect of the department is a bit overdone, but maybe that's necessary to make the point. There is a touching dead white guy moment with the Elliot Rentz character semi-realizing how much his wife gave up, but then sort of taking it out on Yaz, which just pissed me off.
Do wanna-be Ivys not have adjunct armies? Or does the show not get that part? There's also the one grad student TA, but there's no sense of a grad program, really. (And that poor student, OMG.)
As I wrote in my last post, I felt like I spent much of the summer trying to get administrators to do their thing and waiting. I wrote there about two hires.
We ended up making another full time (adjunct) hire, and two part time hires, and asking colleagues to take on big overloads because we're a flustercluck of resignations. One person retired in January, a TT person resigned in early summer, as did three adjuncts, one just the week before last. And we have a colleague on leave (one of the hires was to fill in for them).
We lost a number of potential hires because by the time I was allowed to call for an interview they'd found jobs, or after we'd offered a job and they accepted, the contract took so long to get there that they accepted a different job.
I don't at all blame them for that, nor for resigning in favor of a different job. I'm happy for those folks to move to greener pastures. But it all got a bit overwhelming.
I'm having a meeting with someone over in the administration about our review (see here for previous post). By January 15th, I'm supposed to hand in a plan of how to stabilize funding for our first year writing program. Hopefully, the administrator will be able to help me think of how to do that. I suspect, though, that I was sent on a fool's errand, and my lack of an effective plan will give them someone to blame for our next review. (By which time, I'll be long retired...)
I'd like to be excited for my class this coming semester, but I'm way behind in planning for it. I really have to make a big dent today!
And that's the news from NWU.