Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Slowly I turned. Step by step, inch by inch....

Random thoughts as I await the onset of blessed Ibuprofen relief, and consider the beginning of yet another fourteen hour work day.....

My alarm clock is an app on my smart phone. While I almost never actually wake to the alarm, I still have it set every weekday at 6am, the latest I can spring forth and still be functioning when I leave the house at 6:30. The alarm sound is set at 'Rooster'. It's the most obnoxious and horrible alarm sound I can find... and I despise it. Lately I find myself stalking my own cell phone, in order to jump that little bugger at exactly 6:00:01, and shut off the alarm before it can even utter a single sound.

The college that asked me to teach one automotive course over the Summer has now asked me to do another in the Fall. This is pleasing. Sadly, the money will not be much and the drive is long... but it's a beginning. Also, I found the 'Ignition Systems' course I am to instruct this Summer is actually an 'Engine Diagnostics' class.... and
I am stoked about that. Much more enjoyable to spread my wings like that.

I've located a place to rent a conference room* where I can hold my own automotive class. The rent is reasonable, the location central and well known , and the room quite nice and well equipped. My next steps involve inviting paying students and assembling the curriculum for that evening. I plan on doing this first class on Diagnostic Methodology.... how to diagnose cars for fun and profit. It seems to be a need, as I listen to techs speaking in my evening emissions certification classes.

Day school is day school... and rather surreal. I expect this to be my last year, although it could get strange. Since my certification expires next Spring, and I cannot reasonably pursue what I need to keep it**, admin has asked me to resign at the end of this school year. In return, I asked for a few things I wished, which would cost them nothing. That request vanished into the 'Ignore Pile', and I do not intend to resign unless they are done. So.... since I have tenure, they can either do those free and simple things for me, or they will be forced to fire me within contract terms.... which could take them half of next school year. So be it... I'm okay either way.

* My school rents such rooms, and I made application to use one..... but admin has 'taken it into consideration', which means they tossed it in the ignore pile. I cannot afford to play their power games, so the money goes elsewhere.

** Why am I not pursuing the certification? I suppose I could get it done, if I begged, scraped, and nearly killed myself. It's more than I am willing to do. The process itself will be something I'll be writing about, but it boils down to institutional extortion, with PSU gaining millions of dollars while forcing teachers to attend classes with less than zero value, all under threat of ending their careers. Add to this sad situation my own experience, which is my school admin actively acting in bad faith over the tuition on said courses. It all adds up to more than I will willingly do...... as I am a very poor extortion victim. I'm not in search of Pyrrhic victory... I just refuse to play a rigged game with dishonest people. Life is too short, and I have options others do not.

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