Peeking through to the other side.

Ahh, the politics.

I am only a first semester adjunct; I teach one evening session of an introductory lab. Because it is in the evening, I never have the opportunity to interact with other faculty. The office is always dark and closed, and the few times I've had to contact another faculty member with a question during lab I've usually interrupted their dinner. So I'm getting some teaching experience without the supporting collegial relationships. In other words, I haven't had to deal with the bs.

Except by email. I get all the emails, but really they haven't been numerous... until today.
This morning we all received an email with details on the policy for dealing with a certain kind of special needs situation. There was an objection to one small point which was, actually, at the core, a quite reasonable objection, and everyone really does seem to agree on the fundamental issue.

What has been interesting is reading the way in which people write their opinions. All pc... or, not at all pc but being careful to point out that they are not being pc. All the "with all due respect to your hard work and all the effort you put into..." and the "... I don't want to make light of your efforts..." and the "... of course we want to give handicapped (I am not using politically correct language here!) students every opportunity..." . Also the "... I think we need to have clear policies..." and "... perhaps we need our legal team to explain what is required and a psychology team to explain what is needed..." and "... this should be discussed in the faculty forum..." and even the clearly frustrated "... I've been trying to have a faculty forum about this for several months now and I hope we can finally all agree that this is an important issue worth our time..." Phew. It is exhausting! And educational. I wonder about the faces behind the names. I form images in my mind based on their title and signatures; some have quotes below their name and those often throw me off, usually not being the kind of thing I expect from the person I've invented in my head.

I feel a little bit like a spy as I read all these emails; I have been functioning so much on the outskirts and these emails have provided me with little glimpses behind the door. It just makes me realize how isolated I've been and how different things would be if I were full time, day time. It makes me realize that their are advantages to being in my position. It also makes me realize that I really want to be on the inside, to be a person whose voice really counted.



Lisa said...

You might get on the inside and then decide you don't want to be there....or you'll get on the inside and realize there is a whole DIFFERENT inside that you aren't inside of yet..... how many insides are there anyway?!?