Unanticipated

My colleagues are stunned by the eagerness of the administration to let us teach everything online in the next academic year.

“They are letting us move our entire program online!” they exclaim happily. “I expected them to resist but they were actually happy to do it!”

Yes, it’s absolutely unbelievable that the goals of neoliberal austerity are so eagerly accommodated by college administrators. Who could have possibly anticipated such a shocking development.

17 thoughts on “Unanticipated”

  1. “My colleagues are stunned”

    “They are letting us go!” they will exclaim in disbelief. “And they said everything they posted now belongs to them and we can’t use it anywhere else!”

    It’s like an old cartoon I saw (I might be repeating myself) of two pigs at the trough talking about the farmer walking away with an empty bucket: “I dunno, I never thought about it before…. I guess he’s just some kind of altruist.”

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    1. It was hilarious when somebody in that discussion meekly said, “But don’t you guys find it a little uncomfortable how the university now has all of our courses uploaded and ready to teach. . . without us?”

      Yeah, just a teensy bit uncomfortable.

      Obviously, I responded with a rant about neoliberal austerity. I’m anticipating a flurry of responses about how I want to put everybody’s life at risk.

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      1. And what’s really funny is that people sincere think the administration is going to resist this and force them to come to campus. It’s like they have been asleep since 1978. How can you be so out of touch with reality?

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  2. I dunno… My university has stated that they want as many face-to-face classes as possible, especially for first-year students. The fear is that if too many courses are online, students won’t forge personal bonds with their fellow students, or in other words, create a community, and they’ll feel like they’re teaching themselves, with too little help/attention from profs. This would hurt student enrollment and retention.

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      1. Really? So far I am finding it very cumbersome. Of course one can always do things in lazy ways. But I find it a lot easier to create a connection with students in person, and I find they get a lot more motivated if they see each other in person. AND in real time, not in this asynchronous way. (It is said that asynchronous is good since it accommodates everyone’s schedule, but I have decided it is bad.)

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        1. I managed to teach 3 courses while taking care of a 4-year-old full-time. It isn’t real teaching, of course. But it’s more than many people did, dumping their PowerPoints online and pretending that’s teaching.

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          1. I found the zooming and doing so much on the lms very exhausting, partly because I didn’t have a large screen, a full size keyboard, or a good table yet, but even so, having every interaction either in writing or filtered in this way was very strange … and it all felt so unreal / so remote. And this is with me cutting way down on work, I cut out half the assignments because we were all feeling our way on the question of how to manage, what would work, etc.

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  3. I wonder if they would be as stunned at the end of their contract if they were informed that since the college owns their content, it only really needs to hire tutors and markers from now on.

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    1. People are such lemmings it’s incredible.

      As for insight, I’ve had more profound discussions of current events with my handyman who dropped out after 7th grade than with college professors.

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      1. They are, which made me feel sorry for them for a long time. After a while though, I learned that many of them are as mean as they are ignorant, which is why I stay quiet and possibly even look forward to them receiving their comeuppance when it all goes badly wrong.

        Not you though, obviously. Because I like your blog 🙂

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  4. I’ve decided teaching attracts authoritarian personalities sometimes. I am not one, although I’m organized and authoritative, which is different. Those people can get very dogmatic.

    But yours seem really out of it, unusually so. Are you talking about people with professorial rank, who, one assumes, read the journals and so on? Anyone who is keeping up in the profession knows about these copyright/IP issues with online teaching … right … and all the discussions of hiring web monitors rather than professors … right? Or are they under a rock?

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  5. I realize it’s not “just the flu” and so on but it amazes me how people are able to be SO scared of this and not of any of the other things. I’m most scared of the Amazon destruction and the melting of the glaciers . . . and I’m scared of polio, if people were to stop vaccinating for it.

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