Today’s post is a roundup of sorts–be sure to click to read a follow-up question from yesterday’s War on Teachers post, and also to see more linky goodness below.
But, to the matter at hand: I just couldn’t resist this. According to the Boston Globe’s Joan Venocchi, organized labor’s big problem is that they desperately need makeovers:
All the classic accessories were on display at last week’s union rally in downtown Boston: Burly guys in sweatshirts hoisted “Solidarity’’ signs. The song “We’re Not Gonna Take It’’ thumped in the background. Cigarette smoke and angry rhetoric filled the air.
“We’re going to hold those sons of bitches accountable,’’ bellowed Rich Rogers, executive secretary of the Greater Boston Labor Council. This time, labor’s ire was directed at State Street Corp., which confirmed that it expects to receive a federal tax refund of $855 million for 2010 — even though this Boston-based recipient of a $2 billion taxpayer bailout reported a $1.6 billion profit last year.
That really is outrageous. But watching the usual suspects take on the injustice of it all in their usual fashion felt a lot like watching Snooki in “Jersey Shore.’’ Stereotypes make entertaining TV, but they don’t always get action or respect.
This is pretty funny coming from someone working in a dying industry. Here in Colorado, the flagship university has shuttered its School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and I can’t count the numbers of students I have who either started as journalism majors or who completed their degrees and are seeking a second B.A. in History–History–because it seems like a more practical choice! I suppose it is more practical if only because however beleagured History departments are, we’re likely to stick around because we’ve been a part of the curricula for several hundred years now.
How can it be that white collar, college-educated “information workers” like newspaper reporters and columnists are all scrambling for work, when they all shop (or aspire to shop) at Whole Foods and use “summer” as a verb? They gave up smoking years ago–where is their reward for joining the so-called “creative class” and making fun all of those people who take their showers AFTER work?
Speaking of class, money, and “creative class” expectations, don’t miss Tenured Radical’s post today on how to survive life as an adjunct and maximize your chances of landing a tenure-track position. She offers excellent advice–especially the part about “Don’t listen to senior colleagues who tell you that there will soon be a line in your field and that you are ideally positioned for it.” Not only should you not put any stock in that, don’t even feel the slightest bit flattered by it. If someone says that to you, that’s a measure of their hopes for getting a tenure-track line, not an estimation of your personal worth and chances of landing said tenure-track line if and when a search in your field ever materializes.
Institutions DO NOT REWARD LOYALTY. They may however reward displays of your market value, which is to say another job offer. Therefore, if you really want a tenure-track job, you must conduct an aggressive national and even international job search. Even if your heart’s desire is to stay exactly where you are and never to move again, you must conduct a national and/or international job search. Worst case scenario: you get a job offer but no counter offer, in which case you’ll have to move, but you’ll move into a tenure-track position.
Trust me: there really is a whole country out there that’s not within 50 miles of major Atlantic or Pacific coastal cities. Some even prefer it, and many others come to enjoy it. Once upon a time, I thought that getting a job in Massachusetts, Maine, or New Hampshire would suit me perfectly. That never happened, but you know what did happen? I took a job in sunny, dry Colorado, and now the last thing that appeals to me is moving anyplace with humidity in the summer, permafrozen piles of goop in the winter, or anyplace that doesn’t regularly offer champagne powder to ski on. Suck on it, New England!
And speaking of international job searches, we have a follow-up to yesterday’s post on the Mister Gradgrinds of the world and how they’re ruining education in the name of raising standardized test scores. The teacher in question e-mailed me yesterday after I published the post reporting on her being formally reprimanded for daring to put an inspirational Goethe quotation on the board in an American history class. She writes, “it is time to get out of teaching in the states. Do you have any suggestions on teaching jobs overseas–say France or even Australia?” Alas, I don’t have a clue about this, so do any of you have any ideas about how a creative high school teacher can find a job in a Francophone or another Anglophone country?