Sunday, May 4, 2008

go to school to get a degree, go to life to learn

I think there may be a few people in my department who are losing it. And, I can't blame them, cause, let's be honest, shit sucks. The pressure is immense and there is just an unjustifiable focus on production--constant, consistent production.

The university is a business. This could not have been made more clear than when CU selected oil tycoon, Bruce Benson as the sole finalist for its president. What is he good at? Not academia. That's right, people, this man can make money.

That's what they want. But, it's kind of scary--to me at least. Consider something he said when asked about how he was going to get more funding for our school. He said he'd get us the money when we show results, referring to scientific study results. You know, you find the cure for something, you're gonna see more cash flow. Which makes sense, but what about the humanities? Sorry sir, we don't produce 'results' per se, at least not the ones you're talking about.

In a department that's already completely obsessed with identity and justification, where our introductory class is nothing but defining and defending the field, it's no wonder that we're all worked to death trying to produce papers, and books, and presentations, and reviews, and every other little piece of nonsense as fast as our little fingers can churn it out. They gotta have something to show for us!

It's not their fault. But, it really is killing us.

I will acknowledge some limitations to this claim: I say that the humanities are the ones under pressure to perform, but the departments I am contrasting our workload with are all humanities based fields. English specifically. So, I guess I really don't know what Comm's problem is. I just wish we could all chill out a little bit on the b.s. and concentrate on the important stuff.

Yeah, I think that would be great.

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