Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Starbuckaroo & #adjunct comment blitzing too

Skeptical all-agog-ness at news of Starbuck's (not quite) free higher ed degree offer abounds on adjunct enclaves around the tubz. On the adj-l list, which had been quiet until Anna Spiro posted a link to the NYT Starbucks OpEd. Conversation picked up. Ana Fores posted,
I wrote a letter, which was published, and I encouraged folks on Adjunct Justice to join me & write in, to give their own point of view. I am sure some heeded the call, but I don't know who.  
If we want to have our voices heard, we need to do so in the mainstream media, especially in papers such as the New York Times with its huge readership. Write in your comment. I think they may still be taking them!
The comments section is closed now, but you can still write a letter to letters@nytimes.comOr find something closer to home, Starbucks + higher education - Google SearchOn the list we do love our NYTimesies and prize getting a comment or letter published there even over one in higher ed media, although list traffic sharing those preaching to the choir gems runs to the brisk. This revived the recurring topic of commenting in media as a strategy for raising awareness outside the Ivory Silo  and educating the public. 

Coordinating (or at least a concerted campaign to encourage) comments to mainstream media would be a good cooperative project. Both L.A. Times and SF Chronicle cover higher education. Don't forget Canadian press either (they do a lot better job reporting on than we do on them). Let's make a list...Atlantic, The Nation, Slate, Rolling Stone, Salon...
I totally agree and am an equal opportunity commenter. All these newspapers are worthy, as I am sure all are where ever everyone lives. It's even better, too, if you're local and are commenting, since you know the area, its strengths as well as its quirks. So yes, let's not only make a list, but use it too! And with that, let me add The Seattle Times to the list, which has had a few recent big ticket items going on.
Looks like a start. How do we find more? Search Google News by topic ~ as for Starbucks stories linked above ~ or just for higher education stories. Check Precarity Dispatches' news aggregation posts. Set alerts for stories. Check newspaper directories and follow local media

How do we build momentum and keep it going? Share links on list and social media to "comment magnet" prospects. Let others know you are commenting. Sharing comments on list or social media validates the action while setting an example, encouraging others to follow suit. Caveat: avoid Schwärmerei unless defending a colleague under siege. It's more likely to leave a negative impressive than educate or persuade. The same goes for posting rants or comments unrelated to the story. Finally, don't be a comment troll: "trolling for good" is an oxymoron.

Midway through thread and thoughts, I asked myself, "do I feel another media post coming?" Apparently so because here it is. 


  1. I just wrote to thank you for another great post, but as always with my less-than-savvy tech self, I lost it.

    Hence, I need to begin all over again.

    If most folks do as you suggest -- use outside media to get the word out of our precarious plight -- it will be much better for all, especially if everyone begins to do so locally.

    Think what would happen if all of us began writing comments about our precarious situation to every SmallTown, USA? Pretty soon all those small towns would know what is going on in AdjunctLand...

    But also, as an aside, I want to thank you, because the links you take us to in all your posts are so interesting. Today, I just added -- thanks to your countless font of information -- a favorite of mine, since I love the semiology of words.

    Clicking on Schwärmerei, I found “Dr. Goodword's Language Blog."

    Finding this blog has made my day!

    In sol(idarity),

    Ana M. Fores Tamayo
    Adjunct Justice
    Petition: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/better-pay-for-adjuncts
    Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AdjunctJustice

  2. I just lost my reply too ~ a long one too. Maybe it is Blogger not us. I'll come back (in the middle of something else now) and try to retrieve / recreate from memory ~ short recap: words, letter writing as extended comments by individuals as well as campaigns, and other do-able actions to make precarious faculty more visible and educate the public

    An effective grassroots action would not even take all of us, just a substantial %

  3. A relevant link imo: The Miseducation of America, on 'Ivory Tower' (the movies) and the "rhetoric of crisis and collapse"

    "Americans, as a result, have very little understanding of what college is about—how it works, what it’s for, what larger social benefits it offers—and those employed in higher education have had very little practice in explaining it to them. The debate has been left to the politicians, the pundits, and increasingly, the hustlers and ideologues. Few who talk about college in public understand it, and few who understand it talk about it."


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