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Bird's Blog

Poetry, musings, observations, commentary, rants, confessions...and who knows what else!

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Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Teacher, writer, poet, grandmother, lover, wine-drinker, chocolate eater, beach comber, hiker, traveler, Giants fan, San Franciscan. All work on this blog is copyrighted material.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Gimme some moola, and I'll reinstate a class ... at least for now

On its face, San Francisco City College‘s solution to reduced course offerings is relatively creative: solicit donations to save classes – for a $6000 donation you can save a course in a designated program (though not a specific class) at City College.
You also will be listed on the college website (and no doubt, your donation should be tax deductible).

But is this anyway to run a community college – a public education system – begging for donations to reinstate courses slashed by budget cuts? What happens next semester? And the semester after? Kudos to City College for effort - and a big stream of green birdshit to the State of California for forcing the college into this situation to begin with. How is it possible that the 8th largest economy in the world cannot adequately fund education? (More on that in a later post.)

Education is in the public interest and should be funded by the public via stable government funding, not by the whim of philanthropists.


Blogger Jack K. said...

We get we ask for.

We want it all without paying for it.

We will always have to pay for it.

I agree, public education must be our highest priority.

Good luck.

August 31, 2009 7:09 AM  
Blogger K9 said...

yes, boyed. good luck.

if you get a chance, stop by the yard. i need your memory.

September 15, 2009 8:48 PM  
Blogger Pete Bogs said...

You guys are in trouble out there. Robbing Buffy to pay Brad.

September 25, 2009 4:49 AM  
Blogger boneman said...

OK, I know better than to lob in my thoughts to freely....

I've been doing work for an older lady, and while mucking around in her spiderwebbed crawlspace, several times after busting my head on boards, hooking and tearing my clothes, and in general proving out the fact that not enough sorrow is offered the baby (than the Mom who delivers birth)
(hey...I'm 6'5" and the cotton-pickin' crawlspace at its highest was 18")
Anyway...I kept asking myself, "Why was I doing this?"
She can't pay me for three years.
I'm old enough I may not be here in that time,
so, why was I under there doing that job?

Because she was a nice lady kept coming to my lips...

I do my job, and I do it well.
I go to extra pains to do things i know others would walk by, no regrets whatsoever, even though they know it had to be done.
For nothing, maybe.

Because i love what I do and do it well, I guess.

(and now the lob...)

Are you in this for the money?

(and the sound of feet running away so fast.....)

(dang! Hope i remembered my choppers! Halloween get-up, see?)


October 08, 2009 11:53 AM  
Blogger boneman said...

(OK, teacher, here's what was wrong...
It should have been "too freely"

maybe I should have posted anonymously, cause, now you know it was me...


October 08, 2009 11:54 AM  
Blogger Bird said...

Ah Boney, of course, no teacher is in education for the money - since there isn't any! But, we should be far better paid. I work a good 50 hours a week, for which I am paid, are you ready - a wopping 40,000 a year. I have no guarantee of continued employment as I am adjunct at both the schools I teach. That means, my employment is based on funding and enrollment. And yet, in the community college district at which I teach, adjunct comprise over 70% of the teaching staff (and we are paid less than the tenured faculty who have no better qualifications than we do). And at the University, the majority of lecturers (part-timers) have qualifications equaling those of Professors. Yet we are paid far less. Just because we are engaged in a profession that is actually a calling doesn't mean we shouldn't be paid a living wage or what we're worth. I know 25 year olds without a college degree, let alone an MA who make the same amount of money I do. In any other profession except teaching, the degree of difficulty and cost required to prepare for that profession usually dictates a higher income (doctors, layers, etc.). But my two degrees net me an income equal that in the Bay Area, qualifies me as the working-class poor. I'm lucky that for now I have a second income stream - but that won't always be the case. And regardless, I should be paid what I am worth.

But, the point of this post wasn't to bemoan the low pay of teachers, rather, to comment on the absurdity we now find ourselves in as a society - where public education is funded by garage sales and naming rights.

I and the point of this post was the appalling lack of public funding for education

October 08, 2009 2:11 PM  
Blogger boneman said...

Well, you're absolutely right.
I sure ain't here to belittle that point at all.
Heck, I have a degree, too. Took me four hard years to get it.
(let's not hang on that so much)
but my brother, two lazy years in college, no degree, no certificate, 85K to 150K
what the dickens is going on here?
Or Steve, who, though makes less than you, does so with no degree, either. 30K


I hope you don't mind a bit of French, but FUCKING DRUG DEALERS (because pot is illegal) MAKE 100 K easy every year, tax free!

talk about GRRRRR

(and, dang if K9 doesn't give me grief because I lean towards a more socialistic view!)

The only point being, maybe I ain't making a living painting pictures ($480 this year, so far)
I plan on continuing painting.

Because I love it.
I NEED to paint.
And, I'm good at it!

What I need is, maybe, a kick in the head.
Screw the low paying blues altogether and, I dunno.
Get into the insurance business.

So, feel free to go ahead on and complain at the unbelievable values this country seems to strive for.
I really do agree with you.

Only, I'll bet that the other answer is as right as any.
You wouldn't do it if you didn't love it, yourself.

October 08, 2009 4:38 PM  
Blogger Ryan Edel said...

Thanks for writing this post - this is really an eye-opener for me. I'm graduating with my MFA later this month, and I'm a bit worried about taking the adjunct route. I've signed on to continue teaching the Intro to Fiction and Poetry class I've been teaching as a grad student, but I know that this only delays the inevitable in terms of searching for jobs later. And you're right - we don't teach for the money, we teach because we love it. Or we teach because we love writing or art so much that we have to teach it in order to make rent.

If you're interested, I posted another article about what public education has meant for me - it's on my website at http://www.ryanedel.net/publicservice/publiceducation.html. If you'd like, I'm putting together an online network for teachers to offer workshops. The blog for the project is http://www.12writing.com.

Have a good day - I hope your teaching semester is wrapping up well.

May 10, 2010 1:59 PM  

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