Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday ramble

…masquerading as a blog post. Mercifully brief, I keep promising but rarely succeed. Rambles are like that. You never know how long they will turn out to be  or even if you can find your way without getting lost, going off track. Most of these are or should be separate posts and may even be someday. Not today though.

Noted along the way

MLA 2013 coming up, Boston, Jan 3-6. NFM Board and other members eligible for MLA membership are urged to join and attend the meeting. Nov. 1 is the deadline to apply for travel grants of $300 to attend. New Faculty Majority is already well represented on contingent faculty committees and would like to see a strong board and member turn out. The 2013 meeting will have a strong focus on contingent faculty. Maria Maisto is on the PT Faculty executive committee discussion group with Sue Doe and IHE "kinder campus" columnist my friend Maria Shine Stewart. The panel will focus on the pedagogy of the precariat -- teaching students about contingency. Josh Boldt (NFM board member, The Adjunct Project) and Maria are on the Presidential Panel.

The Executive committee above and the Radical Caucus will be sponsoring a groundbreaking motion drafted by Maria Hanzimanolis that looks to be well supported in demanding action on a number of issues. She posted an early draft on our Facebook page and a current version recently to the adj-l email list (and yes immediately added to my blogging schedule). Maria H. has set an example for all in her diligence and perseverance soliciting input. Maria Maisto has asked that the motion include support for the DOL reasonable assurance clarification.

Ed-biz is bursting out all over and it's not even spring... StraighterLine (remember the $99 college semester?) is back hiring and getting ready to roll out an edupreneur scheme for desperate adjuncts? When I commented on Music for Deck Chairs that maybe it was time for adjuncts to occupy the building for ourselves, this was not quite what I had in mind. Any way Burck Smith wants to talk "adjunction" (his term not mine). So listen (but wear the Fox Muldur t-shirt while you do. I've also heard ominous suggestions for x-moocs... related but saving them for another time, be it ramble or series.

Word on the Texas trails: Ana Maria Fores Tamayo reacted to an untimely unhiring after the semester started (an email saying don't come in tomorrow) by taking on responsible. Not too bright of them not to have seen that one coming like headlight of an oncoming train One outcome: response from the college following a letter campaign undertaken with the help and support of Keith Hoeller, to release information and a sharp letter to the college from the AAUP.

Another outcome appears to be an emerging Texas network that could expand include equally neglected adjacent states. Yes, the gains unions have made for adjuncts in NT, MA, CA and others states with strong union culture and tradition are admirable and noteworthy. But there are other adjuncts in other states, starting at ground zero (or lower) for whom starting a union is not yet an option. Texas adjuncts, get on board: contact Ana Maria Fores Tamayo

...and in closing: a reminder about our free, members only Media 101 webinar, with Scott Jaschik Monday September 24. This is first of what we hope to be many more free member webinar perks. Applying for unemployment is another proposed webinar topic. Send recommendations to Esther Merves. Include "webinar topic" in your subject line.

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