Scattered Shot

I have some stuff on my mind, but haven’t yet managed to pull it together into anything coherent or meaningful.  So, let’s do a quick run-down of interesting Tennessee stuff:

–Say Uncle:

If you guys get in there and start passing every socially conservative wish list item that causes turgid little nubbins among the god squad (who shouldn’t be getting turgid little nubbins anyway because that’s a sin, I hear), it’s going to be a short two years. Seriously. You won because of a few things. The Democrat party abandoned democrat principles and, frankly, the Kurita situation was bad for them. And the excess epitomized by the underground bunker. So, stick with the fiscally conservative part and leave the abortion and gay cooties stuff on the back burner.

Good luck with that.

–I don’t know if you need a subscription to read Inside Higher Ed, but if so, here’s the relevant part:

Consider Chandra G. Elkins, who teaches composition and developmental reading at Tennessee Tech University and Nashville State Technical Community College. She typically teaches a 5-5 course load and tries to pick up a summer course or two as well. Last year, teaching ten courses over the course of a year, she earned $15,210. This year, she is hoping to earn more, so she has added a sixth course for next semester, which she will teach at Motlow State Community College.

“It’s really depressing. I have to really, really love my job,” she said. “Literally, I could quit my job and get a job at the local Wal-Mart full time and make more money and have benefits.”

Sheila Sullivan teaches at the same colleges as an adjunct. By teaching a 6-6 load, plus summer work, she is able to get her total income up in the $24,000-$26,000 range (no benefits), but already she has received word that one of her adjunct jobs will be paying less next year. She moved to Tennessee to take a temporary position at Middle Tennessee State University that was potentially going to be converted to the tenure track and ended up staying in the area and becoming a regular instructor, but never on the tenure track.

“I don’t feel like there’s anything I can do about it,” she said. The colleges know “that they can get people” to teach despite the low pay, and “that works for them.”

How is that possible? The Tennessee Board of Regents has a very simple policy that allows its constituent institutions to decide in which of four categories to place adjuncts. Colleges can devise systems based on educational experience, market differentials and so forth. But the policy is strict on one thing: It sets maximum levels of pay per credit hour. Because the colleges typically avoid classifying people as being in the most “lucrative” pay category ($700 per credit hour), most earn much less, and a college would be correct in saying that $1,800 is the maximum allowable pay for a three credit course of someone in the second level of adjunct classifications. Paying more would violate state rules.

Maybe we should designate some of that lottery money for paying the people we need to give the kids those educations… Just a thought.

–See, again, men are just monsters who cannot help but kill people and so women need to stay inside and hide from them.  One day we’ll advocate just locking men in the closet so that we can all move about freely.  And then one day we’ll stop acting like all we can expect from men is monstrosity.

Yes, they talk about lost freedom and the first thing they want to do is monitor my vagina.  No one is free until everyone is free to only have a Conservative nose in her cooter because that conservative is eating her out.  It doesn’t exactly fit on a bumper sticker, but it’s the truth.

–PeskyFly says

If it wants to be important, and do things to make Tennessee a purpler state the leftern blogosphere needs to drive more than ideas. It needs to drive dollars. National communities like Kos, Atrios etc. have selected candidates all over the country and driven funds in their direction.

And I ask, “How soon can we get the leftern blogosphere together and put together some kind of strategy?”  I promise to even behave.

20 thoughts on “Scattered Shot

  1. Rust: it was sarcastic. I recommend reading the link and the first comment to see what was being sarcasticized (yay new word! ;p )

    @ Aunt B: Thank you.

    @everyone, The transgender day of remembrance is November 20th. Even if you don’t/can’t make it to a vigil, remember those who have died, and how they’ve been treated even after their death.

    Duanna Johnson, presente. You will be remembered.

  2. Maybe if they eliminate the womens’ studies department, as well as other useless departments, they would retain enough money to pay a decent salary for the remaining faculty.

  3. Ex, suck my butt. I’m the chair of our women’s studies department. You want to know what I make above my regular salary for running that department? Nothing. You want to know what my program budget is? Nothing. How many full-time faculty members do I have? None. How many part-timers do I have? None. We cross-list all our discipline-specific courses with WST and our courses are packed because of it. WST is what administrators call a “high asset return” department — that means that we carry the sciences in terms of academic budgets because we teach full classes that are open to all majors and our instruction doesn’t require labs, specialized technology, equipment, or digital materials.

    Our graduates also don’t wind up with their jobs offshored. Wish I could say the same about engineers.

  4. Regarding Say Uncle’s post:

    The Democrat party abandoned democrat principles

    I am not a member of the Democratic party, but when I see wing-nut shibboleths in use, my eyes glaze over. The terms “Democrat” and “democrat” as used above are modifiers, so both should include the suffix “-ic.” When they are used in this fashion without the suffix, well, draw your own conclusion.

    B.:

    “How soon can we get the leftern blogosphere together and put together some kind of strategy?”

    As soon as the effort will be worth something. For those who hadn’t noticed, the impending Obama administration is busy stocking itself with Clinton retreads and other centrist and conservative-friendly Beltway hacks. If the left blogosphere is going to call that victory, then it is busting its collective ass for less than nothing.

  5. Yeah, I’ll bet the graduates of the WSD don’t find their jobs shipped offshore, or onshore for that matter, other than on a college campus. Who the hell would hire somebody to know the writings of some obscure 17th century lesbian? How do you make money out of that?

    Other than to spread that knowledge to others. Kinda like a virus.

    nm, stop flirting with me, you dirty girl.

  6. Oh church secretary, if they want me to call them Democratic then they should act democratic. If the act undemocratic, then they are Democrats. It’s quite intentional.

    Tally ho.

  7. Now, now, Exador, I know you’re jealous that someone could do something enjoyable and still earn a living, but it does happen. It’s a common misperception (especially among cranky guys like you) that women’s studies grads can’t get work or if they do, they wind up clerking at a bookstore somewhere and eating ramen noodles for the next fifteen years while they write that never-ending dissertation on obscure 17th century lesbians. Maybe you’re thinking of historians, because that’s not the route the typical WST grad takes. Most of them go into human resources, health care, politics, public policy work, law/advocacy positions, or start their own businesses. It’s a very flexible degree and you can do a lot of different things with it. I’ve only had one go on for a PhD in women’s studies.

    Some of our WS graduates out-earn you and me both. I’ve got former students all over the NY state and fed government (concentrated in ed, labor, and health policy), running HR for major corporations (especially prevalent in health and insurance industries). One’s a VP in a multinational digital media corp, a couple own their own businesses, one’s a celebrated local chef. Their skills serve them well in an evolving global marketplace and they report being happy.

  8. Most historians I know don’t have to do the ramen noodle thing once they’re out of grad school, either. Maybe Ex is thinking of engineers who fail the state certification exams?

  9. And may I just stick up for obscure 17th century lesbians? I’m a giant nerd, but the thought of rummaging around in the metaphorical drawers of a 17th century lesbian brings me great joy.

  10. Great. I’ve rattled the coven’s cage.

    They’ve gone into human resources, and law/adcovacy. And what joy they have brought to the business world. Sensitivity training/re-education everytime sombody is overheard making a “female gym teacher’ joke.

  11. Oh, allow us all to take a moment to weep for poor Exador, who now can’t even make fun of lesbians at work without lesbians getting pissed! If only there hadn’t been Women’s Studies, lesbians would just have to resort to the good old days of spitting in his coffee when he wasn’t looking.

    Damn you, Women’s Studies! Damn you.

  12. Hey, if you want to be slapped on the ass and called Sugartits, I guess that’s between you and the Mrs. I thought you were taking Aikido to get rid of the he-boobies, though…

    I’d still let you bring me a cup of coffee, though.

  13. Women learning about women in school and still going on to be productive! Negroes in the White House (who aren’t domestics)! ZOMG! What symbol of white male privilege will collapse next?

    No wonder the Republicans and their fundie pals are all in a tizzy about uterus control and gay equality. They’re running out of cards to play. Once most rich folks see that the Obama administration (and Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress) will look out for their interests without deliberately sabotaging the rest of the country, will rube-baiting be enough for the Republicans to regain control?

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