This Is How I Maintain A Facade Of Diplomacy

From a room full of adjunct teachers, in a two-and-a-half-hour-long meeting to brief them on how to fill out a five-column form now required by the school, my intelligible notes read as follows:

  • University identifies list of 8-12 “learning objectives” for class.
  • Me: ID objectives by number for each assignment — prove class meets objvs.
  • Me: itemize whether each student meets objective or not for each assignment.
  • E-mail form to dean and local campus when semester is done along with grades.
  • Guy in back outraged. Arbitrary rules part of life dude.
  • Must conform syllabus to school template from now on.
  • Tedious. Is it even worth my time anymore?
  • Look, dude, it’s arbitrary and stupid and time-consuming and you have to do it anyway.
  • Everybody’s busy.
  • If they’d wanted your opinion, they’d have told you what it was before this meeting.
  • If you don’t like it, quit. No one’s forcing you to do this.
  • Can I go home yet?

The rest of the page is doodles, growing increasingly pointy and agitated as the one adjunct teacher in back droned on and on about how the school didn’t trust him or care about his academic freedom. It’s a frickin’ career college, dude, there’s no academic freedom here. You want academic freedom? Go get on the tenure track at a four-year public school. What you want here is a paycheck.

I let no one see what I wrote. Instead, I seemed to be an attentive, patient attendee. Some people wear their hearts on their sleeve — mine gets scrawled on a legal pad.

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.


  1. I'm just amazed it took you 8 bullets to get to "Can I go home yet?"

  2. Perhaps he (your vocal friend) should consider a career in public education where you don't have 8-12 for a class, you have 5-10 objectives for a single 3 week unit.It could be worse…..

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