Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cleaning out my office: who would have thought it would be so hard?

I have been cleaning out my office and, in the process, reliving my life at CCP. I decided I would reduce the contents of my office  to two boxes and I am almost there.


There’s a whole lot to throw out. I’ve accumulated 35 years of teaching materials, and for some inexplicable reason have saved all kinds of memos. I’ve unearthed various memos on issues I once cared about. I no longer have the same degree of passion or even interest and very few are worth recycling, but when I looked at the file labeled “Faculty Senate,” I hesitated before throwing it into the overflowing trash can. This is one issue I'd like to address one more time before I hand in my keys and walk out the door. Who would have thought that this issue would still matter to me when all those hard fought fights about curriculum are of so little interest?


At my college we do not have a faculty body independent of the union and I’ve always thought that my professional live was the poorer as a consequence. I’ve never bought the assumption that every educational issue is a union issue and believe there is a real tension between my identity as an educator and my identity as a union member.


So I sent my last memo, but somehow the College’s email program or the union’s listserv doesn’t want to receive it. Is this a sign, I should just give up on this??

1 comment:

  1. Welcome to "almost retired" Karen.

    I also struggled for most of my teaching life with walking the line between professional educator and union member. This was exacerbated by the fact that I thought the union mostly served to protect and defend mediocrity and the status quo. They were always throwing roadblocks in the way of real change; I'm afraid that they often still do.

    Not knowing how much time you'll still be at the College and how much of your energy you still want to filter their way it's hard to say whether a bounced e-mail is, indeed, sign to cease and desist and a red flag daring you to continue. Being who I am, I'd say to take that last change. From your position of strength - as a soon-to-be-retired person - you just might be able to affect the change you want. If you want to do it.

    I just tried to send this message and it was rejected; I'm trying again though ... but this time I've kept a copy just to be sure.

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