College perfessers have the easiest gig on this or any other known planet. Yet, to hear their whining, you'd think they are worked to death. The worst are perfessers in Departments of Anguish and Schools of Education.
At the "school" of "education" currently infested by Professor Plum there is recurring (and nauseating) complaining about "course loads."
"Hey, at U. Blewit they only teach two and two. [two courses per semester] And WE teach have to teach three and three. This is unfair!!!" [Yeah, that's about 9 hours a week with maybe 30 minutes prep before class. Meanwhile they don't notice the guys in green outside mowing a million acres in the blazing sun--all day every day.]
"Exploitation!" [Oh, yes, a real proletariat!]
"We need unions!" [You need a high colonic.]
"Yeah, and after ALL we DO. All our contributions to public schools."
"Uh HUH! And our INITIATIVES!"
"And don't forget all our matrices! We fill out fifty matrices a year."
"High level work."
"I'm still in recovery."
Permit me, Dear Readers, to tell you what this perfesser scam really is.
You get tenure. And you cannot imAgine the kinds of imbeciles who get tenure in ed schools.
** Here's a "scholar" who has published 11 pages in seven years--all in first rank journals such as Mel and Ned's Journal of Literacy and Live Bait.
** And there's a "distinguished" perfesser who is STILL cashing in on a film he made in 1415, about the time Henry V's English long bowmen were giving the finger to the French at Agincourt. [Did you know that was the origin of "the finger." The French threatened to cut off the long bowmen's middle fingers--hard to use a bow without it. The archers responded with a merry hoisting of the bird, and 50,000 bodkin-tipped arrows.]
If you have drive, desire to do some good, and the intelligence to tell the difference between making a real contribution and merely filling out a matix, you work hard.
But if you DON'T, then your "scholarly career" is best described as %$#@ing around for the next 30 years. The university makes it possible to run a scam for those 30 years by asking you to fill out a Professional Development Plan in the fall and a Professional Development Report in the spring. This is reeallll hard to do. You include...
** Every stupid little workshop attended--put on by OTHER perfessers who are padding THEIR reports. "Reading for the 22nd century" [Why worry about THAT when kids can't read NOW?] "Macaroni as a math manipulative." [Yes, they already exhausted the possibilities with mung beans on a stick.] "Teachers matter." [Wow! And cheese melts.] "The reading-writing connection." [Now THERE's a contribution. Whoda thunk?]
** Every lame thesis "supervised" (you spoke with the student for 30 minutes four or five times in a year). "The postmodern superintendent revisited." [How do YOU spell demented?] "A new theory of learning" [Just what we need. Like the old ones were so useful.]
** Every minor change made in a course (such changes are called "significant revisions"). "I infused my courses with web resources." [Meaning, the perfesser added two urls.]
** Every spongy "idea" for a "project." "To incorporate ALL learning styles, how about having little kids bend themselves into the shapes of letters? W may present a problem.] These flatulent eructations are called "proposed research."
...all of these are counted as "professional development" and "scholarly activity." Everyone wins. The university bean counters add them up and ship them off to the board of trustees in annual reports.
"Our faculty are continuously and actively engaged in the highest scholarly pursuits." [Sure. In the sciences. For the rest?....Someone open a window, please!]
And faculty go home for the summer to recuperate from another year's back-breaking labor--all the while celebratng themselves for being so socially progressive, so intuned to the masses, so passionate about solving the "deep, structural inequities" in our society of which, were there any, these drones would be THE exemplar.
Consider the resources ed schools have, and how much NOTHING they actually do--given their narrow and all-consuming focus on self-interest, their intellectual poverty, and their lack of imagination for anything other than creating a self-aggrandizing pageant of reports, conferences, matrices, and "outreach."
10,000 bucks (at least!) for the annual round of celebrations. Not one penny to start early reading programs in inner cities--based in churches or in "the projects"--teaching parents and other elders to teach kids to read using "Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons."
Labs full of the latest computers--used maybe 5 hours a day. Not one minute spent training citizens who need training in computers so they can get better jobs.
A dozen faculty in special ed and empty classrooms at night and on weekends. Not one minute providing (and not one minute even thinking about providing) resources (telephone consultations, home visits, training programs) to families of children with disabilities.
Closets full of computers that are two years old ("obsolete") and books to get rid of, but not one package sent to Iraq or anywhere else to help rebuild schools.
Over the years, Professor Plum has suggested all of the above kinds of service, that would cost the ed school almost nothing. And, if an organization cared how it looked to outsiders--and really wanted to make a difference--these would be terrific.
Following is the response from "higher administration" and colleagues...