Monday, August 22, 2011

To be a jack of all trades, and a master's of one


When I left you, I was but a learner - but now I am the master!

Well, not quite, but I will be in a couple of years and...then you'd better watch it.

This year and next, as I "teach the kids to write good," I will also be doing the book larnin' myself, as I take my Master's in Education Technology from Central Michigan University.

It was not a decision I took lightly.

I knew it would be a ridiculous workload, expensive, and time consuming. I knew it would take me away from my friends and family more than I would like. I knew that I wouldn't enjoy premium cable on Sundays as much with assignments hanging over my head, in addition to the usual pile of marking taunting me from my briefcase.

On the flipside, I knew that being a student would help me to be a better teacher, I might (gasp) actually learn something, I should at least earn the educational designation that my parents earned - around the same age that I am now, it could lead to even niftier showcase of prizes in the future, and this would be the one and only time I could earn it with my employer footing half the bill.

Ca-ching. Sign me up, Chester!

Late yesterday - premium cable night, damn it! - the first week's assignments came in. I instantly panicked and haphazardly began working, before I even read the outline. I hate it when students start work before reading the outline, so I cursed myself as I continued watching TV, reading the outline, working on two or three assignments, snacking, and panicking.

I made it through the first couple of tasks, and around midnight I noticed my email inbox was flashing.

Here's what it said:
CMU seeks court injunction/students should report for classes; Staff should report for work

Central Michigan University is disappointed that members of the CMU Faculty Association have voted to engage in an illegal work stoppage. This action creates an unfair disruption to the start of the academic year for CMU’s students.

CMU students should report for classes Monday and staff should report for work. CMU’s 439 fixed-term faculty and 591 graduate assistants will still hold classes as scheduled.

The impact of the FA’s action places an irreparable and unfair burden on students who want to graduate in a timely fashion, pursue graduate school or launch successful careers. As such, on Monday CMU will request an injunction from Isabella County Circuit Court and an order for faculty to return to class.
CMU remains committed to working with the FA toward a contract that is fair and equitable to all parties. CMU and the FA have both petitioned for fact-finding, which is the appropriate process under Michigan law to follow in coming to terms on a collective bargaining agreement.
No worries: if this whole master's thing doesn't work out, I still have a plan B - to lobby the government into making it legal for my dad to sign over his master's degree to me:

I'll take a K to block.

That's a Vniversitas Harvardiana degree, folks. For law. Or something. I think - I dunno. I don't read Latin.

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