Thursday, July 14, 2005

To subvert or not to subvert - very big questions

Thanks for your input and coversation regarding Owen's breakdown during RotS. You'll be happy to know that he did not suffer any lasting side effects and is currently watching Zaboomafoo. This conversation is slightly reminiscient of the Vatican's position on Harry Potter. I don't think I need to say much more about this other than to reiterate something that Obi-Wan Kenobi said to Anakin Skywalker "Only a Sith thinks in Absolutes".

And now to Completely change the subject: Check it out
I am still working on it - so, I'll debue the new template here in the near future. The template is a reworking of Library from If I can take a moment to brag - I am rather impressed. I groped around with CSS for a while and added the comment and archive function all by myself. Had there been a hidden camera in my kitchen you would have seen me hit reload and cheer in self indulgent enthusiasm. I am going to add a few things before the Scribe template has been officially retired.

What I really wanted to write about, is stuff thats happening at work. Not nice stuff. Actually very ugly stuff. But, as you all know, this is one of those grey areas where I could potentially overstep my boundaries. And if I were really honest about how I felt, I could get slapped with some defamation of character lawsuits...should this blog have a wider scope than the handful of my dedicated and utterly appreciated readers. The gist - corruption and tyranny of the majority. That's all I'll say. These decisions will directly impact me. I don't think I'll ever be able offer the course that I taught during intersession again. Its' nothing personal. Its' not about how I taught or what I did, its mostly about the Full-timers pulling rank on the part-timers. Just because they can. I have to stop. That makes me really sad. Teaching that course is more than an academic exploration. Its' personal. And also for the students.

I've been beating my head against a wall for the past two years. I feel that these series of events have offered me a moment for reflection. I am no longer comfortable in my position as a part-time faculty member. How do I read these events? Is it time to jump ship and abandon academia altogether? Is it time to buckle down and get committed to starting my Phd? I am seeing a collection of (seemingly) intelligent adults act so corruptly, self servingly and mean spiritedly - that I wonder if this is what I would be signing up for? I love to teach and learn about my area of interest. I love teaching, I love finding new and interesting ways to reach students, and present the material in unexpected ways. Is staying in academia the only way to achieve this? Do I need to become power hungry and egomaniacal to achieve in academia? Can you be humble in this profession? Can you utterly have problems with power and authority and how it is used to marginalze and silence? Do I need to adopt this view in order to actively subvert it? I am so uncertain. Sometimes I feel that my uncertainty is telling me that this profession is not for me. While at times my determination to keep the plan alive is evidence enough to encourage me to continue on.

I find this so ironic actually. I had a lengthy conversation about this issue (before these recent series of events) with the Acharya during my mediation retreat. He offered me good advice - suggesting that I ought to. He said that its not all that common to hear people who have a passion about doing what they do. After that conversation, I experienced a sense of determination and confidence and wanted to make it happen. I was comfortable and assured in my babysteps towards that goal and no longer seemed overwhelmed and paralysed by the big picture. I am more than ever, more certain and comfortable with who I am and how I go about things.

Heavy issues in my own epic indeed. I want to respond to this situation as opposed to reacting to it. I want my decision to either end my journey in academia or continue on to be a well thought out response rather than a reaction to a series of fucked-up events.


hotboy said...

Michi Regier's man, who shows her how to hit folk with a big stick, says get up close and be nice ... don't be a dog pulling on a lead. You get yanked back. If you think about this while with colleagues you want to murder, it's sure to puzzle you so much that the murderous thoughts will go away. It worked for me. But I only work for money and I'm glad you can't buy a gun in Scotland. This will be no help at all!

Litany said...

Yay! The new template. You've been working on that on and off for many months now.

Hope you find time to finish it!

robmcj said...

Heather, I do like the new template, and how the photo isn't framed, and of course the blogroll, where OpenText features before RaBlissBlog, which is as it should be.

And if you know CSS that well you could be teaching my web programming course (instead of me). Except sadly my college doesn't treat part-timers any better.

MC Etcher said...

It's unfortunate, but full timers always seem to think any rights given to part timers erodes their own power somehow.

Mary P. said...

Wow. I'm so impressed. I tried to fiddle with my template to create a margin down the right for some permanent information, and just ended up with the extra information scattered in bizarre spots around the page. You've done the whole shebang! As I say, impressed.