Monday, September 06, 2010

Some days, I wonder

Heard on the news today, the anchor was talking about whatever this new jobs-plan is. And the way he said it, I swear it sounded like he said:

"Today, Obama announces his plan to simulate job growth."

Uh-huh, that may explain it.


I'm feeling SOME better. It doesn't help that I hear continued calls for (depending on the commentator) the absolute abolition of tenure (Even a five year contract, where my being re-hired might be contingent on my generating "enough" overhead costs via grants would not be something I'd be happy with), not sending your kids to college because it will warp them, requiring some kind of "jobs accountability" from state colleges (e.g., not enough of your grads get plum jobs, you go away), etc., etc.

I think it's that sort of quiet, below-the-radar drumbeat - the fear I have that maybe we're headed for some kind of situation where either tenure, or, worse, public higher education, is abolished, that really is getting to me as much as anything.

And I hate the stereotyping of some commentators: I'm NOT a left-wing loon. I do not try to inject politics in my classes. I try to show students both sides of issues. I try to teach them to write and communicate well. I'm trying to do my damned level best by them, and it seems like a lot of what I hear these days is a giant "YOU SUCK YOU COMM-SYMP PARASITE" from the libertarian and even populist end of things. And it's hard to feel strong and want to keep going when you feel as if a segment of the population really doesn't want to understand you or where you're coming from, they just want to stick to the script.

And the thing is: if I lost my job in some crazy upheaval, I don't know what I'd do. Especially now when jobs seem to be so hard to come by. Oh, I have a year or so of money saved up, but I suspect it would take longer than that these days for me to find a job, unless I went out on my own and, I don't know, tried to make a living as a seamstress or cleaning people's houses or something - trying to be self-employed rather than having a boss. I don't know.

Actually, maybe cleaning houses for a living wouldn't be so bad, if there were enough people who could afford to pay me. Or if I could find some kind of barter-job where I did stuff and got paid in food. I don't know. For some reason, these times, the news I hear, makes me immediately go to the back-to-the-lander place in my mind: not the nice, fuzzy, "let's play at being the Ingalls family" idea I had of it years back, when it seemed unlikely to ever happen, but sort of a bunker-mentality vision, where I'm having to grow and can a lot of my own food, and that kind of scares me.

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