Question About the Law

Does anybody know the answer to the following: is it legal for a state university in this country to force its employees to work on a weekend (Friday night and then full working days on Saturday and Sunday) without any warning?

It has not been specified in the contracts, it has never been done before, it hasn’t been discussed by the Faculty Senate.

In short, can an employer unilaterally choose that you work on a weekend and that’s that?

P.S. I’m not talking about every weekend. Just one or two weekends per year.

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Students Make Me Smile

A student says: “I feel very inhibited in class because I keep thinking, “I’m a native speaker. Spanish is my language. So how come this Russian person has a richer vocabulary and understands the grammar better than I do?” I mean, I know you are not Russian. But you are not Latina either. This isn’t fair! You are not supposed to speak so well.”

I have a vague suspicion that my native speaker students enrolled in my Advanced Spanish class at least in part based on my very Slavic last name. It’s possible that they expected a stumbling and mumbling Russian person whose Spanish would be bad in comparison with theirs.

This makes me feel very good.

Smell of Books

I came to the library to get some books and now I can’t leave because it smells so good in here.

The smell of books is magical.

P.S. This post is not an excuse for Kindle-bashing. Movies don’t cancel out the theater, the Beatles did not make opera irrelevant, computers have not destroyed paper.

I’m Very Happy That. . .

. . . I don’t work at a department where

– there are 10 part-timers per each tenured or tenure-track professor.

– the hierarchies are so strict that the part-timers and the tenure-line professors never meet and don’t even know each other’s names.

– foreign languages at the elementary and intermediate level are taught in a blended online format where students get to meet an actual instructor and talk in the language they are learning once a week. And in a group of 30.

– part-timers get paid $2,200 per course they teach.

– the administration closes down tenure lines on a regular basis.

– the tenure-line faculty members haven’t gotten a raise in four years.

– the university budget has been cut by 16%.

A colleague just visited such a department and came back feeling like our university is Paradise U.

Remember, fellow academics, you need to fight the erosion of tenure-lines and the substitution of professorships with adjunct positions every step of the way. Fight it like the future of academia depends on it.

Because it does.

Republicans Propose “Rape by the Government” Legislation

Please, somebody, remind me what do you call the action of penetrating a person against their will?

And on a 63-36 vote, the House passed a bill that requires women to have a “transvaginal ultrasound” before undergoing abortions. . .

The ultrasound legislation would constitute an unprecedented government mandate to insert vaginal ultrasonic probes into women as part of a state-ordered effort to dissuade them from terminating pregnancies, legislative opponents noted.

“We’re talking about inside a woman’s body,” Del. Charnielle Herring, a Democrat, said in an emotional floor speech. “This is the first time, if we pass this bill, that we will be dictating a medical procedure to a physician.”

Once again, penetrating people against their will in return to giving them access to a medical procedure. What is the correct terminology for that?

Think of the most recent medical procedure you have had. How would it make you feel if the doctor had told you, “I’m sorry, the government doesn’t allow me to tend to your medical needs until I insert this device into your vagina / anus. There is absolutely no medical need for this violation but our legislators think it will be cool to stick things into you in response to you daring to request this completely legal medical procedure.”

And the most hilarious thing that this legislation is being introduced by the very people who yell and scream about how intrusive the government has become. Somebody wake me up because this has got to be an especially bad nightmare.