blinded by ingratitude

Well, it's official: my jobs at the Peralta District, College of Alameda and Laney, are over. I've been there over four years and come to rely on these sections for steady work. This is a devastating blow to me.

An administrator was recently fired in the district. Admins have a "return to teaching" clause in their contract. This guy is exercising this right, even though he has never taught before, and is not a geologist. He gets my job, nonetheless.

Peralta to Steve: So long, and thanks for all the hard work!

Just so you all know: As America's science education continues its precipitous decline, as other competitor nations produce legions of skilled workers, we are mired in this kind of bureacratic bullshit, tangled in technicalities, unable even to fire someone cleanly. How did it come to this?

I just wish that somewhere, someday, I would receive a phone call or a letter that actually contained good news. I dread listening to my answering machine or opening my mailbox. Will this flurry of bad tidings ever cease? Can there really be no single thing for me that is going in the right direction?

I had meant to spend this afternoon working on a field trip for tomorrow. I have to create the trip and all its stops and information from scratch. I will probably work until around midnight; this is how I spend my Friday nights this term. I want to go out and celebrate Cindo de Mayo, but I simply have too much work to do. What am I doing all this work for? Does it get me promoted? No, I get fired. Does it yield me a pay raise? No, DVC cuts everyone's salary 7%. Can colleges sustain themselves when their every action annihilates the hopes of all who work for them?

It's a wonder to me that higher education in this country functions at all.


  1. Anonymous said...
    you need a song to commemorate this occasion...and i think "november rain" is just the ticket...and you don't need the administration at peralta colleges to validate you....i mean, c'mon...stalagtites dripping on you as you walk to class, pieces of wall and you don't know what else poised to attack at any given moment. really, you should thank them, as when the big quake hits you will be safe somewhere else, anywhere else. and we will all share a big larph from a safe distance as the college of alameda collapses and then bursts into flames...administration and all.
    Anonymous said...
    That sucks. They hire a guy they fired to take your job. You're a good guy and something good will come of this. There's a reason. Who would want to work for an admin system who does this to people? Think of the Administration as pirates. They are forcing you to walk the plank. You don't know what the hell is in store for you. At least you're off the pirate ship that's going to coo-coo'ville. Maybe you'll swim ashore to the LOST island?! You're free to look for something bigger. Now go get it!!! By the way, you're an awesome geology instructor. Anybody would be crazy not to hire you.
    John said...
    I'm sorry to hear this... you were one of the few teachers at Laney who actually had their shit together. I had your intro geol class a couple years ago with the intention of transferring to a university geology program - which I have since done - and I still retain much of the information you presented simply because it was so concise and well presented.

    Heck, the only reason I'm here writing this is that I was looking for a certain graphic in one of your powerpoints that I wanted to reference! The term is "fair use", no?

    Anyway, I digress... Having since experienced other community colleges, and having entering the university system, I really see how that school put low priority in its quality of education (maybe admin appreciates fine automobiles more than fine students?).

    I wish you the best.

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