Why do people blog?
I could, of course, do some research and suggest some responses to that question, but I won’t do that. Why? Because I only care why I blog. As you will note, I have not published an entry here for quite some time. The reason is not that I do not feel I have much to say, but rather I believed (and still do) that I may as well share my thoughts in the peer reviewed academic arena.
So, why blog now? Have I given up on publishing the results of my creative capacity? No.
I am refreshing my blog out of bizarre necessity. I am currently employed as a Lecturer of Economics. Now, that title sounds more august than it is. In fact, although I am nominally a member of the Department of Economics, within that department I am labeled an “adjunct” and largely discouraged from attending department functions. Why might that be?
Well, aside from the fact that professors of economics tend to, by and large, be arrogant prats, I am an insidious infection. What?
Yes, I am a scab.
I am scab, but not in the traditional sense. Nobody where I work is on strike, but here I am, brought in to replace a potential tenure track position. How did that happen? Don’t ask me, I have no idea. Well, maybe it is a by-product of a weak or ineffective faculty union, but, in any event, here I am.
At his point you might be thinking “So, scab, what does that have to do with blogging?” Ah, I’m getting there. I found out a couple of days ago – actually that’s not entirely accurate – colleges must be re-accredited and as a part of that, the faculty must do “things.” “Things” you might ask, what are “things”and why must you do them? Well, the “why” I am not sure, but the what, from my perspective, is simple.
Okay, not so simple. I have PhD in Economics (okay, that and $3 will get you on the subway, but still), so I have received a certain amount of training to do research. “Sweet,” you might say, you need to do “things” and you are trained to do research …
Not so simple.
What? Well, recently the lecturers unionized and negotiated a collective bargaining agreement with the college. Now, I am very pro-union, but it turns out that part of the collective bargaining agreement specifies that the University cannot recognize research activities of lecturers. Ouch! WTF! So, here I am, PhD in hand and everything I’ve been trained to do is worthless as far as my employer is concerned. Well WTF!
Initially I assumed that because most lecturers only have a masters degree (who doesn’t) and wouldn’t know research if it bit them in the butt, I was being made to suffer for being different. However, a meeting I sat through earlier in the week made the picture more clear. It turns out that the union for tenured faculty specifically bargains to insure that the college not recognize research activities of lecturers! OMG! Now it is clear. Despite the fact that the faculty allowed the college to begin hiring a significant number of lecturers, they are stepping forward to hobble them by way of union contract negotiations.
So, despite the fact that I have about 12 papers nearly completed, I get zero credit for them in my current position. Thus, the blog!
Yeah, I’ll get these papers published. Yeah, I’ll move to a position where my research efforts are appreciated, but, in the mean time, I’ll spend a little time earning points by writing this blog.