MARGINAL COSTS

Here are two statements. Tell me which one you agree with, if either:

1. "If your supervisor at Wal-Mart asks you to work an extra half-hour off the clock because you're at 40 hours and they don't want to pay overtime, you should just go ahead and do it. Cut the guy a break, he needs SOMEONE there to work those 30 minutes."

2. "If you're a teacher and your class is full and a student asks to be added because he forgot to take it for 3.5 years and now he's trying to graduate, don't be a dick. Just let him into the class."

Surprise! Those statements are functionally identical.

A really, really interesting thing about teaching is the way that people are eager – even Liberals who would find the first statement abhorrent – to tell you that you're in the wrong if you refuse to agree to do more work without additional compensation. Never mind that you haven't gotten a raise or have taken a functional paycut for the last decade or two. Never mind that you very likely have too many students in your class already. Just say yes. To more work. And that's what every single person enrolled in a class is – more work. More grading, more one-on-one time, more emails, more office hour visits (OK probably not, but in theory), more of everything you're already doing.

Like everyone other than commenters on Fox News and local newspaper websites, I resist doing additional work for the same compensation whenever possible. The principle does not change because one way of conceiving of units of work is hours and minutes and another is per person.

Students, parents, administrators, and gawkers alike make a collective effort to guilt educators into doing more work all the time. Don't you care about these kids? Isn't it your duty to make sure they learn? Aren't you morally derelict if you're not working FOR THE CHILDREN all the time? Jeez I thought you cared about kids. I guess you don't.

It is a special kind of right-wing, anti-labor rhetoric – it's special because you get it thrown in your face constantly regardless of the ideological leanings of the person saying it. Why?

Part of it may be that everyone remembers the times they fucked up as K-12 or college students; the times they needed someone to cut them slack because they were too drunk, high, lazy, or immature to realize before the tail end of senior year (or Fifth Year) that they need to take College 101 – Intro to College in order to graduate. And they remember how they had to beg, plead, cajole, and bargain to get some professor, admin in the Registrar's office, or academic advisor to yield to "Cut me a break man, c'mon."

So, some of it is just projection. Most of the rest, the kind you get from Centrists and conservatives, is bog standard anti-labor rhetoric – fat, lazy, entitled teachers who never do any work and make $250,000/yr to sit on their fat lazy teacher asses and count their lavish pension money. Right-wing obedience to authority tendencies in the United States most definitely do not encompass the teaching profession.

I can't speak well to K-12, but at the university level I'd like you to keep in mind that when you're talking about the job faculty do you are talking about people who maybe, if they're lucky, have seen their salary increase 1 or 2 percent since the crash of 2008. If they're lucky. All that has happened since then is that more work, more responsibilities, higher expectations of research output, and more bodies per classroom have been thrown at them. Nothing is wrong with faculty, like any other employee anywhere else in the economy, refusing to do additional work they are not obligated to do if they receive no compensation for it.

Labor has value. Every non-teacher recognizes that if someone wants more of your labor, they have to pay for it. Think a little harder about what you're asking when you suggest that we should "be cool." You're suggesting we work more for free.

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41 Responses to “MARGINAL COSTS”

  1. Amanda Says:

    I received this email from an administrator today. It was titled "Shhhhhh. Keep it on the 'DL'" like our principal even cares when we wear jeans.

    ***

    Dear Teachers,

    Since the Boss is away….

    Since {the principal} is out this week, the AP’s decided that we should celebrate {Central Florida} High School’s improved grad rate!!! We improved from 86% to 90.2% which placed us 3rd in the county. Great job {mascot label}! The hard work you have put in with our students has paid dividends!!! In honor of this achievement, please feel free to wear jeans with a spirit shirt Tuesday and Wednesday!!!

    Assistant Principal’s (sic)

    ***

    Imagine being a part of ANY organization that improved a key metric by almost 5%, and being offered a day in which you could dress unprofessionally as a reward. Also, I don't think this assistant principal understands what dividends are.

    I leave at the end of my contract day every day, and structure my assignments and grading so it fits within the planning time and work hours I am required to be there for. Other teachers look at me with awe "oh man I wish I could do that!" I wish they understood that they could. Their contract says they can, if only they would believe that it was possible and make the instructional changes necessary to meet that goal.

    I have so much to say on this. But I'll keep it just to this. :-)

  2. Linda Says:

    Here’s a theory: because teaching used to be done almost exclusively in the U.S. by females who didn’t have other career paths open, we think of education as a commodity that we should naturally get cheap, performed by a sub-race of gnomes who take a vow of poverty so that we can get cheap, quality education for our kids.

  3. Mo Says:

    Richard Hofstadter is the go-to on this one.

    His 100 pages on "Education in a Democracy" ought to be required reading somewhere… OK, everywhere.

    Anti-Intellectualism in American Life

  4. MS Says:

    Hmmm. You're right, I wouldn't be in support of the first but I do think you should cut the kid a break, more often than not.

    Sure, you have to grade a few more papers but it's not a major amount of extra work.

    And the situation – at least in my experience – is more often NOT "I ignored this class for 3.5 years" but rather "40 kids per year are required to take this class to graduate, yet it is only offered spring semester every other year with a total enrollment of 20 and no one seems to give a shit about this obvious problem".

  5. Major Kong Says:

    I don't even like to use the self checkout lines at the grocery store.

    If you want me to bag groceries, put me on the payroll.

  6. Peter Says:

    Same thing with customer service surveys. You want me to give you a professional evaluation of the service your employees provided, show me the money. (and entering me in a drawing of unknown odds doesn't count.)

  7. Edward Says:

    The college system is a mess. The flip side of this is that tuition has become astronomical and is paid for with loans. This may be the costs of war and Wall Street bailouts coming home.

  8. Judas Peckerwood Says:

    @Linda: "Here’s a theory: because teaching used to be done almost exclusively in the U.S. by females who didn’t have other career paths open, we think of education as a commodity that we should naturally get cheap, performed by a sub-race of gnomes who take a vow of poverty so that we can get cheap, quality education for our kids."

    Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winnah!

  9. democommie Says:

    @ Linda:

    I would only add that they feel that way about all public employees and unionize labor.

    @ Judas Peckerwood:

    There's no "upvote" here–had there been, well, I think you know that you might need a knapsack to carry them home, with that sort of moniker!

  10. J. Dryden Says:

    Harmonizing with a lot of what's been said above:

    The second demand–like most of the demands that come from what claims to be American Conservatism but is in fact Know-Nothingism–derives from a stubborn refusal of empathy. I don't mean fuzzy-headed sentimentality; I mean a genuine attempt to base one's judgment on an occupation of the other's person's perspective. It doesn't mean that one will inevitably just fold and declare the other person's feeling/perspective to be the correct one; it simply means an acknowledgement of the EXISTENCE of that feeling/perspective, and, from where the other person stands, the entire VALIDITY of that feeling/perspective.

    The Know-Nothingist doesn't do that, because he doesn't WANT to to that. He has thoroughly identified himself with one side of the debate (he recalls the sullen embarrassment of being a fuck-up student, and he remembers HATING the teachers who refused to ignore his fucked-up status and instead called him on it), and that's that. Fuck that teacher who made him feel that way, and fuck EVERY teacher as a result, period. In fact, fuck EVERYBODY who triggers feelings of shame and inadequacy and guilt–fuck 'em ALL–let 'em suffer.

    Scratch the Laffer Curve, scratch Ayn Rand, scratch whatever the fuck Trump signifies, and you have it there: Fuck 'em. They remind me of the people who made me feel like shit, and I'm not for one second going to consider their priorities with objectivity, or them with empathy. Fuck 'em.

    Personally, I'm in a position (Thanks, Tenure) to push back. Politely. I point out that the student has made choices–and I support his right to make those choices–and those choices have had foreseeable consequences, which are part of the responsibility attendant on making choices. And just as I would never suggest that I be allowed to choose for the student, neither would–I'm sure–he suggest that he be allowed to choose for me. Hence: No. You cannot join the class at capacity. (I also suggest that they complain to the administration.)

    That…seems to work. Though if my saying that prompted a series of horror-tales from other teachers, I would NOT be surprised.

  11. R E G Says:

    I believe teachers should be paid fairly for their work.

    I also believe they need to wake up and realise they are not the only professionals whose time and goodwill get abused.

    I'm a tax accountant. Last April I had a couple of teachers insist on scheduling their appointment at 4:30 on Saturday. Without a shred of self-awareness they left my office saying "Have a good weekend".

    Yes – I would have worked all weekend whenever they came in. Yes – if I don't want to work seven days a week part of the year I need to chose a new career. I know that.

    But really "Have a good weekend"?? Pretty sure that means both Saturday and Sunday.

  12. Mo Says:

    JC – You have just elaborated on my basic theory of political resentment:

    It all starts in grade school, when it's made painfully clear that one is not all that smart. That smart people are indeed superior to you when it comes to thinking, and people admire them because of that. The humiliation burns.

    Athletic? no. Artistic? no. Musical? no. Nobody admires you for anything.

    Just another thicky nobody. But you have common sense!

    … (he recalls the sullen embarrassment of being a fuck-up student, and he remembers HATING the teachers who refused to ignore his fucked-up status and instead called him on it), and that's that. Fuck that teacher who made him feel that way, and fuck EVERY teacher as a result, period. In fact, fuck EVERYBODY who triggers feelings of shame and inadequacy and guilt–fuck 'em ALL–let 'em suffer.

  13. Aurora S Says:

    People pull the *same bullshit* on artists all the fucking time. Except for us, you’re being asked to do it “for exposure”. The ballsier among them might even say should just love art so much for the sake of it that you should be willing to give it away for next to nothing. Or they may attempt to weasel their way out of signing a contract, especially if they’re friends or family, and ask you for endless edits or to “be cool” about deposits. They are more likely to pull this shit on the freshly graduated, but getting anyone to pay you for anything is like pulling teeth.

    Thing is…it works. People feel like they’re entitled to what you have to offer, so they get seriously butthurt over the idea of paying for stuff they want and whine, manipulate, and bully until you relent. Kinda like Boomer Republicans, who have a fucking meltdown if they have to pay taxes for anything (but don’t touch their Medicare!).

  14. LK Says:

    From my spoiled perch atop a cushy job with bonuses and benefits from a top-tier multinational hi-tech mega-corp, it's the same for so many other jobs that it just sucks. Yes, I get paid really well for my time. Yes, my choices in education (and luck of the draw in a few opportune job-selection moments) have paid off really well for me. And having the flexibility to work from home part of the time is not at all to be taken for granted, and makes the commute that much easier to swallow. But the price tag is just as steep.
    Just a typical example- I have three days on my calendar this week with meetings that end at 11PM. Last week I had a couple that ended at midnight. That company-paid phone that people covet? It rings on weekends, too. And during family dinners. And on vacation days. And vacation nights. And "I just saw that you're available on the chat app, so is it okay that I called?". No, it's not okay. It's one in the morning and I'm taking my sick girl to the ER, but go ahead and ask what you wanted. And I'll make the fixes to your presentation for that 9AM meeting. And on that annual review meeting the boss tells you that due to budget limits you're not getting a raise this year also, because he had other people at a higher priority to promote.

    I know I'm spoiled. I'm well aware that I'm one of the lucky ones, that in the capitalist lottery I'm much closer to the top of the wheel than to the bottom. But I'm still "labor", which means I'm still on the wheel. And at any given moment, my luck might run out and I'll find myself at the bottom of the wheel, under-paid or even unemployed, with very little chance to get off the labor wheel and stand up top with the "capital" folks who make us all spin. This is the world we live in, and until enough people decide to stop complying, stop internalizing those structures and demand change, things will only get worse.

  15. Lars Macomb Says:

    There's lots to be said here with regard to the second example at the top of the original post. I'll try to be economical.

    I am a career college professor. 36 years. 30 years in my current position. Academics have seen a severe tightening of their profession over the last quarter century. Simply, the demand for what we do has gone up—and this is despite the cost of education going up exponentially. But university administrations have not hired enough of us to do what we do as well as we would truly like to do it.

    Each year, qualified Ph.D.s, especially in the humanities and the social sciences, go without tenure-track positions. Some teach for poverty wages in adjunct positions hoping they might turn into something permanent. Universities hire them because they plug the gaps to keep class sizes from being ridiculously large. They also keep payroll budgets small.

    This is not a situation created because too many people are going to graduate school. It is because universities reactively seeking to create a permanent psychology of panic among teaching scholars. It is further reinforced by the severe cuts in funding—and at all levels—for higher education that have occurred since the Reagan administration.

    Trust me, it's political. During the Clinton administration, my particular college within the university hired 25 faculty above replacement in order to keep track with growth in the size and mission of the college. During the Bush years, we hovered at only three above replacement—and this was with the addition of yet another major. We were told that "doing more with less" is what corporations all across the globe are doing. We were also reminded that, with the internet, masters level teachers could teach the content of our courses.

    During the Obama years, things, alas did not improve. The Tea Party took over my state legislature and gutted education. Then, by 2010, with the Republicans taking over congress, no additional federal monies were available to support scholarships or research.

    With continued growth not only in my college but within the whole university, competition within the university for funds and administrative attention has pitted departments against one another in ways I could never have imagined thirty years ago.

    As such, taking on additional students in a class or teaching independent studies without compensation have become ways of showing the university president and provost that a department is deserving of an additional full-time faculty member to help handle the load. It shows them that we are growing and meeting student demands. Every department chair knows that this is the only formula for enabling us to be better at what we do. And every department in the university does this.

    Is this process self-defeating? Probably. But meeting student demands with adjuncts (which are often difficult to find for certain subjects) is a tough thing to abide. And watching one's department shrink because of temporary changes in demand or because other departments are out-hustling for students is also a tough thing to deal with.

    The administration regular talks about how many qualified applicants are standing in line for each tenure-track appointment. They can push our buttons because there are very few strong unions operating in higher education.

    It's awful, it's stupid, it's counterproductive, but it's the contemporary mentality in higher education. And it's no way to run a university.

  16. Rugosa Says:

    MS –

    I worked for a state university where the administration kept pushing to enroll more students for the tuition money, so required classes were always over enrolled. Faculty did their best, but there weren't enough TAs to teach enough sections to accommodate the numbers, and not even enough classroom seats for the students. And the state keeps cutting funding. This country is so fucked.

  17. Buckyblue Says:

    Amanda, I do the same thing. Here in Cheeseland Scott Walker cut my take home by more than $10K per annum and called me lazy and entitled. I walk in with the kids and out with them. I used to work 60+ hours a week including most of Sunday, no more. I could say more but I don't do jack shit unless I get paid for it. And there's a lot of pressures for teachers to do a lot for free. Fuck that, if you wanted that you shouldn't have voted in this Bozo.

  18. oiojes Says:

    I'm seeing a pattern here: any organization that can maximize income at the cost of shaving closer and closer to quality failure will do so. Often, the shave is peeling the skin off workers in order to buffer administrators. I've seen this pattern in industry, colleges, corporations, biotech, aerospace– you name it.

    The rubber burns the road down where the producer and receiver meet.

    The latest one I've seen is my son's desperate attempt to line up his ducks to graduate. With necessary courses that are offered every other year with prerequisite courses that are offered on alternate years. He missed one year because he changed majors. It's costing him not one but two years. He works hard. Has a 4.0. Has a job as well. So, yes. I hope the teacher cuts him some slack.

    Ed, I trust you to make the proper decision– i.e., you will recognize a rat bound situation and attempt to make it right. But I'm a little irritated that you present it as the student's fault. Maybe it is in the circumstance you're describing but extending it to *all* students making the same request is a bit… disingenuous. We *know* it's not that simple.

  19. Bob Slocum Says:

    Linda, you are so spot on–plus there's the surrogate-mommy phenomenon. At the uni level, female professors are expected by many students to be surrogate mommies, which is just repulsive. What's worse is that some gladly go along with it in all sorts of ways that set up bullshit expectations for other women professors (and to some extent male professors).

    REG… other people are supposed to stand for abuse because you choose to/have to? No, it doesn't work that way.

    Every semester I have at least two or three students to whom I have to explain the difference between "their problems" and "my problems" because they have egregiously neglected getting their shit together. Politely, J Dryden has above.

    oiojen, I have no ideas about the details about what your son's issues are, but they are not created by the professors, but by administrators.

  20. Matt_L Says:

    eh, really Ed? Is it the same thing if an hourly employee gets asked to work illegally off the clock and a salaried employee is asked to teach one more student in a 30 or 90 person class? I guess my understanding of the employment law is a little different.

    I teach 4/4 at a state university. My colleagues and I all share the teaching duties for both general education classes and the courses for our majors. We basically teach 3 100 level surveys and a upper division class for majors every semester, plus some methods and capstone classes to keep students on track to graduate.

    When we had high enrollments, before the financial crisis, I regularly added a couple extra students to each section, especially in the fall because I knew two or three students would drop the class or just stop showing up. It all came out in the wash and there was not a whole lot of extra work. After the financial crisis, enrollments gradually declined across the university and we are having a tough time filling sections in all disciplines. As of 2011 I do less work and get the same pay. (Thanks to a good union contract, I know that not all my colleagues are in the same boat).

    I am teaching an upper division writing class that was in demand for my department. I enrolled a couple extra students because they were interested in the subject matter. Taking into account enrollments in all four of my classes, I am still teaching fewer students overall than I did in 2010. So I don't think I am "bringing down conditions" by over-enrolling a class that students need to take or are just interested in taking.

    If your classes are all bursting at the seems, and the administration is asking you to "take one for the team" then by all means, protect yourself. If you are supposed to over-enroll courses in the hopes that you'll get a couple adjuncts, don't play that game. If you are in the position of most public school teachers, that is the situation described by Amanda and Buckyblue, you are totally right to "work-to-rule." I don't blame K-12 teachers for saying "fuck you pay me."

    But if you are in the situation I am in, where your overall enrollments are the same or less. Or if its a case of students needing an infrequently offered class so that they can graduate and it doesn't actually add to your workload, be a mensch.

  21. Monte Davis Says:

    I was lucky in an elite private secondary and college education — enough so that I got a chance to teach uncredentialed at two other private secondary schools during and just after undergraduate years. I loved it, but wanted to write, and went off to a career in science and business writing, mostly freelance.

    In the late 1990s, a "pay it forward" impulse took me into a M.Ed. program at an urban university, teaching as an adjunct there at the same time. It didn't take long to realize that (1) most of the faculty was almost as unhappy as my fellow adjuncts, (2) the teachers at the urban and suburban public high schools where I did practice teaching were unhappier still. So I didn't switch careers (and came to appreciate my own luck all the more).

    (Career caution, Ed — surely superfluous but WTF: given the travails of print media and the whole intertubes thang, editors are even more prone to "it's great exposure!" lowballing than they were when I started out in magazine work. They know you love it and really want to do it. Your response should be the same as that you urge for educators: not "OK, I'll do more for less," but "Yes, and that's why my work is good — and worth more, mofo."

  22. Safety Man! Says:

    Sorry Ed, working for free is what “salary” means…

  23. seniorscrub Says:

    Now I have to go to Facebook, dig up your post on situation #2 (can't remember if the whole 'failed to take course for 3.5 years' was mentioned ) and delete my response that read "Let them in and then bust their balls for the semester".
    I had something vaguely similar happen to me. I was taking a final for a basic Statistics course. Halfway through, I asked for the monitor and told him "I know I'm not a stats genius but this doesn't seem remotely familiar". He looked at the test and informed me I had the wrong one, I was taking a higher level exam. Did I get more time to finish the correct test? No. Did I ask for more time? I don't think I did. Did I pass? Somehow, yes.

  24. Deggjr Says:

    Labor has value. Every non-teacher recognizes that if someone wants more of your labor, they have to pay for it.

    It should be that way but it's not. Most non-teachers if seen the attitude or even heard the words; 'if you won't do it we will find someone who will'.

  25. Well ... mostly Says:

    Notwithstanding that one of these is illegal, this is all about boundaries. I've been on both sides of this and find only one useful criteria: if the ask comes from someone better off than me – get paid. If I'm better off – at least consider a freebie or discount.
    What we've done to teachers is pathetic, and exactly what the country club set believes should happen.

  26. Kaleberg Says:

    Democrats gave us the New Deal and the Great Society. Republicans have given us Shithole America. It will be a chapter in the history books one day.

    Since the 1970s, there has been a divergence in work hours depending on whether you are exempt (salaried) or non-exempt (hourly). People who get paid a salary with no explicit statement of work have been working longer and longer hours. Since these people can read and write, they get to bitch a lot in the media. People who get paid hourly get fewer and fewer hours as part of being jerked around to avoid benefits and often just to increase the misery level. These people don't blog a lot or write op-eds or clever articles. They are the new invisible leisure class, scrambling to make the rent.

  27. Katydid Says:

    @Rugosa; I was in high school under Saint Ronnie in the days of "ketchup is a vegetable, so for lunch you can have either the greasy tater tots *or* some ketchup but not both". For whatever stupid reason, the high school decided to cut an English class that had only been available to seniors in order to save money…but that English class was also required to graduate high school. Nearly 300 rising seniors were stuck in a Catch-22; have to take the class to graduate…but that class is no longer offered.

    We all spotted the problem immediately, but it took the administration longer. In fact, they ended up just striking that class as a graduation requirement and stuffed the seniors into lower-level classes because (they said and it might even have been true) that they didn't have the money to run that class.

  28. Older Says:

    R E G — When I get "well wishes" like that, I reply "Too late for that!"

    "Enjoy your weekend!" "Too late for that!"

    (When I'm working outdoors in the rain) "Stay dry! (chirpy voice) "Too late for that!"

    As for teachers' pay, I used to be an administrator for a private school, and we received many requests for tuition resistance from people who believed, and said, that if teachers really enjoyed their work they would do it for free, or for a barely living wage. The family that I was most astonished by said that they had established a life style of taking every other year off, and traveling, or living in the woods, or I suppose whatever took their fancy. And because of this, the school should charge them half price. (Actually, since they were making one year of teaching last for two years, I could have argued that they should pay double.)

  29. jcastarz Says:

    A lot of the comments on this post remind me of an editorial in our local paper I read a few years back, from which I'll condense a key observation down to the following:

    "When a CEO refuses to take a job due to insufficient compensation, people tend to say 'but you need to pay well to attract that kind of talent!' When a worker-bee refuses to take a job due to insufficient compensation, people tend to say 'welfare has made him/her lazy!' "

    Now, just think about all the unsung teachers who helped you grow up – for just a steady salary, and then think about all the CEOs in our current times who have flushed entire companies down the toilet – and were rewarded extra bonus megabucks for doing so, no less. I don't know about others, but I don't see the justice in this kind of compensation inversion myself.

  30. Spring Semester 2018: about to start and… « blueollie Says:

    […] Current academia Yes, there has been quite a bit of "mission creep" in academia. The number of administrators have gone up over the years I've been teaching at the college level, and so has the number of "very important issues" that the "professors have to be educated on". And there are have been trends such as "assessment", and yes, these new duties (piled on top of the old ones) really do not add a thing to student learning. And there is the old "do more with less" mentality which tends to spread us a bit thin. […]

  31. democommie Says:

    Students who don't try to do what's right deserve no consideration.

    Students who have been shut out of the process by uncaring or just stupid administrators deserve consideration.

    Telling the difference is the problem.

  32. democommie Says:

    Sorry, meant to add.

    Q1: Violation of state/federal laws.

    Q2: Experience dictates to me that you work to the rule unless you have a very good relationship with management. IOW–work to the rule if they can't shitcan you with repercussions.

  33. democommie Says:

    "Without repercussions". FUCK!

  34. Safety Man! Says:

    I didn’t mean to be flippant earlier, but case 1 with an hourly employee is illegal, case 2 with a salaried employee is a business negotiation. I work at a boarding school, my pay is exactly the same whether we have 75 students or 125. If you have the legal kung fu to pull it off by all means go ahead, but my position duties end with “other duties as assigned” for that reason.

  35. Townsend Harris Says:

    In the late 20th Century at my beloved CUNY, our administrators solved Ed's problem by killing off tenure for most of the classroom faculty, by cutting full-time faculty from nearly 13,000 down to almost 7,000. Of course our administrators retain rank and tenure as a fall back, in case their administrative jobs don't work out.

  36. College Cujo Says:

    I don't know if anyone wanted the Canadian community college take on this, but here it is anyway.

    What Ed's talking about happens rampantly here, and we are protected by collective agreements that are intended to prevent precisely the "one more person" problem.

    When we get our teaching assignments, we also get hard class caps. It is very common for us to get 1-3 students above the cap added to the class. When I've brought this up, I usually get told that the administrators expect 10-15% of the class to drop.

    EXCEPT…
    … In certain programs, they never do, because the courses are mandatory and/or other options are full;
    … There sometimes literally isn't room for everyone. It's a distinct kind of cringe when you have 61 students show up to a class with 57 desks and say, "Um, sit on the floor I guess?"

  37. Amy Says:

    People keep saying that Ed's class is mandatory. It's my experience that there are almost always options for everything but the most basic core classes. And if this ADULT HUMAN BEING missed a basic core class for FOUR YEARS, then, well, maybe they need another semester of college?

    People petition to have class Y substituted for class X when class X is required for graduation and class Y has space and covers similar territory all the time. It's unlikely that Ed's class is literally the only class that would be sufficient for this ADULT HUMAN BEING's needs.

  38. quixote Says:

    What Lars Macomb said.

    And to all those saying the teachers should cut students slack or the students need to suck it up: this is the same model of getting the peasants to fight for scraps while the 1% complain about their sore coupon-clipping thumbs.

    The problem isn't the teachers or the students. It's cutting funding for education until the teachers barely have time to breathe (hire more faculty!) and the students have to pay extra years of tuition because it's physically impossible to finish on time (if you had enough faculty you could offer enough courses!).

    The problem is not enough money, not the people who aren't getting it.

  39. Ten Bears Says:

    Like the adjunct or near-adjunct asked to do just one more class?

    I don't have a lot of sympathy for, or with, the tenured.

    I myself, Major sir, am quite fond of the professionalism of self-check.

  40. xulon Says:

    As some southern Pol said a couple of years ago when arguing for pay cuts for teachers, "If you have The Gift of teaching, you'd do it for free!"

    He voted a pay raise for himself because there is no Gift of legislating. Read your Bible. It's not there.

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