Business as Usual Series: No Scabs to Pick

Posted: November 9, 2011 in Business As Usual, Commentary, Testimonial
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

From our inbox this morning:

I find it most imperative to warn those who inhabit the Communications Building: as best as I can infer, Room 1018 seems to be equipped with some sort of invisible projectile weapon that vaporizes any and all *ahem* qualified instructors who attempt to cross its threshold.

Granted, my field of expertise lies in realms apart from invisible projectile weapons. But I can reach no other conclusion on the matter because I’ve been attending classes in 1018 since the strike began on Thursday (three classes in 1018, totaling five hours of classroom time), and despite repeated public assurance from our benevolent administrative overlords in Anthony Hall, “business as usual” seems to entail a lot of sitting in an empty classroom, realizing no one is coming, and wandering in a despondent and/or angry fashion.

For all you readers out there who find the administration’s promised business-as-usual model so tasty that you need a spoon to gobble up every drop, please read on for a thrilling chronicle of an absolutely true week in the challenging life of a SIU doctoral student:

Thursday (Strike Day 1)
Show up for class. Wait 10-15 minutes. Call Dean’s office to complain. Wait another 10-15 minutes. Behold not a qualified instructor but a “qualified attendance taker,” who takes attendance (checking names off list without visually scanning for said names) and dismisses you after brief but fiery interrogation from angry students. S/he promises you will have an instructor on Tuesday. Promise.

Friday (Day 2) — Bonus!
Arrive in Comm. Room 2012. Sit for 10-15 minutes waiting for instructor. Leave when one does not arrive. OPTIONAL: complete state-mandated ethics training required of all SIU employees. Computer and wi-fi required. Rita Cheng and Rod Blagojevich applaud your commitment to ethics.

Tuesday (Day 4)
Show up for afternoon class. Worry that obligatory sarcastic remark to classmates about being today’s qualified instructor might set off vaporizer. Wait 10-15 minutes. Glance out door to see Thursday’s qualified attendance taker pass room without stopping to say hello. You were probably too hard on him on Thursday.

(Three hours before night class. Do you have all your reading done? Don’t miss this chance to impress your new, absolutely befleshed, qualified instructor! You’re graduating soon, and you’ll need that letter of recommendation!)

Night class: arrive to find the room dark and a man with a clipboard (alas, he is not your instructor) and a (totally awesome — no sarcasm this time) custodial worker who is moving the desks to clean the floor. Two minutes into your 150-minute graduate seminar. S/he informs you there will be no class.

Go home, pondering the lost hours/effort/gas you spent coming to class because administration threatened your livelihood. Remind yourself to brush up on Foucault’s panopticon discussion in Discipline and Punish — this was probably all avoidable.

Anyway, I’m working on dismantling the invisible projectile weapon in 1018. The fact that there seems to be an utter dearth of our promised qualified replacement instructors on campus can only mean these nefarious weapons are all over campus.

Please contact administration early and often in the coming days and demand a fair deal for the faculty. They probably have the keys to turn these things off.

In the meantime, if a replacement instructor somehow gets into your classroom and tries to teach you something, this probably means s/he is not qualified to teach your class. It is not inappropriate to demand their qualifications and to complain to the administration immediately if said qualifications are unsatisfactory.

In solidarity,
Anonymous sarcastic smartass, doctoral student, Communication Studies

Board of Trustees 618-536-3357
Chancellor Cheng 618-453-2341
President Poshard 618-536-3331

  1. Love this! As a Communication Studies graduate student too, I can agree! Thanks!

  2. says:

    WOW! This is fantastic. I will look for “some sort of invisible projectile weapon that vaporizes any and all *ahem* qualified instructors who attempt to cross its threshold.” the next time I go to class.

  3. Amy Darnell says:

    It makes me sad to think of my beloved 2012 empty…

  4. Bill Reto says:

    As much as I appreciate the enthusiasm to kick-out ‘unqualified’ teachers. I have to say that your argument may be too little too late. Where was this moral imperative to fight for your right for qualified teachers before the strikes? I cannot except the answer that there were no unqualified teachers at SIU before the strike. It seems to me that this fight is one of convenience. If they were not on strike and the ‘unqualified’ teachers were not just subs, you would not and did not make a blog about it, post about it, make t-shirts about it, protest it, skip class because of it, or yell at the chancellor, current or previous, about it. At least not to this extreme. And to think that before they were there permanently and these new targets are there temporarily to make sure that classes are not canceled and people are not forced into late graduation or getting screwed over in any number of ways. So, you may feel proud of the fact that you are standing up for whats right today. But, where was this enthusiasm yesterday?

    • nichole says:

      As a Communication student, I feel that I can safely say, Bill Reto, that I have not previously experienced any unqualified instructors in my classrooms. Hence, I would not have had reason to protest about it previously.

  5. Bill Reto says:

    *accept (why I am not an English Major. haha

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