Sunday, August 23, 2009

file under: probably shouldn't mention...

I've been dealing with the fallout from the CSU budget cuts - specifically, the faculty furlough and the slashing of hundreds of lecturer positions. It hadn't occurred to me until now that I'm going through the stages of grief. Today I'm angry.

And this is what I think I shouldn't write about, but compulsively am anyway. The budget catastrophe is, actually, old news. The CSU has been under assault since the rise to power of Der Gropenfuhrer in 2001. Budgets have been cut four times, and Arnold has promised the citizens of California that he would "starve" the public sector. The public loved this, apparently, because they re-elected him, apparently not realizing that by "the public," he meant them, their schools, their roads, their cities. Funny, that. Apparently.

I've been telling people about this for, roughly, 7 years. I've been soliciting their attention and help for about five. Please, I'd say, write your legislator. Write a letter to the editor. Come to a rally. Tell your students. Help us elect education-friendlies.

I got a lot of thank-you notes. But other than the CFA activists on campus, and an effort this past year that students organized for our more local problems, not a lot of people got involved. Some faculty smirked at me. Some seemed to think I was overly paranoid, combative, harshly critical of the CSU administration, the Board of Trustees Saboteurs, or the political process.

Now, lecturers keep contacting me, asking what I can do to help them out. Part of me, today, is thinking that it would have been nice if they had joined the fight years ago.

Mainly, though, I'm angry at the smirkers. You disliked my belligerent attitude? You scoffed at my anxieties? Now, you'll have a lot more time to contemplate it. And I'll be paying for your unemployment insurance. You're welcome.

See, that's not fair. I realize that my anger is part of the grieving process, and that I'm not just grieving the jobs of so many faculty and staff, so many educational careers of our students, but also my own career. I know that this is a reaction to the anxiety - or perhaps certainty is the better word - that my career, my passion, the only meaningful work I ever imagined I could do, is going to end in a year.

In a couple weeks, the mushroom cloud will ooze over our students, and they'll be asking why their classes have disappeared, why their enrollments have been canceled and they have to try to re-schedule classes, with no spaces left in any of them. Most of them won't have any idea what's hit them. That's gonna be fun, too.

1 comment:

Lulu--Back in Town said...

I repeat: you do NOT have a certainty that you will not have a job next year! It's utterly possible, I admit, but it is NOT a sure thing. So knock that mess off, mister.

I love you.