Sunday, December 16, 2007


So, I just want to apologize to anyone out there who might inexplicably be regular reader on here. I'm sorry I've been sort of MIA for the past few weeks.

I'm sort of going through a thing right now. Nothing big, just a funk.

I just want to say up front that I love my job. I really, really like what I'm doing. I enjoy getting to work with the students and I'm not sure I would trade that for anything in the world. The students are amazing! And I thank God every day for being allowed to work with them.

That being said...I'm really frustrated with my job right now. I'm frustrated with my department and I'm frustrted with the University.

First the department. I really feel like I'm not a member of a team. I feel like I'm not in on discussions that affect my students and I don't think that's right. Without getting really specific, I just feel that things are happening that affect the students and I'm not even in on the conversation. Things are happening that affect the students A) without their input, and B) without my input. I'm really frustrated by it right now.

I haven't brought this up to my superior yet, partly because I'm really angry about it right now, and need to cool down some. And partly, because I need to get the issues clear in my head before I go to speak about them. I'm getting close, and I think it will be one of the first things I discuss when I get back from break.

Now, on to the University. I cannot get anyone to give me straight answers about how to navigate various issues here (I'm being purposely vague). It really seems like they don't want brown people (read minorities) here. They certainly aren't being helpful when I'm trying to advocate for my students. It's really disheartening, infuriating, and troubling.

Not to be totally rude, but I've never been to a whiter (read caucasian) place in my life! Right now, I think diversity here is a joke. The proverbial "they" talk a big game, but the actuality is quite the opposite.

Again, I really do love my job. But I'm definitely feeling increasingly frustrated.

I don't know if any of this makes any sense whatsoever, but I just needed to clear some things out...even if only marginally and in a roundabout way.

Thanks for listening...reading.


At 9:43 AM, Anonymous Steve said...

Hey, I work at a university so I understand your frustration. Have you been there long? I had the same problem at my previous college (and the same problem now at a new university job). I was there for over a year before I was brought in the loop on a lot of things. College departments can be very insular and cliquish.

Also, colleges are large bureaucracies; and despite all the diversity talk, things move slow and the status quo remains king.

My best advice is two fold. First keep the focus on the students to help take your mind of the other stuff. Second, find someone in the department that is plugged in and befriend them. At my last job, I ended up finding a bit of shared interest with the person I thought I had the least in common with. A two-minute conversation here; a one minute conversation there and I was gradually brought in the loop and solicited for advice.

Working at a college is very rewarding but the internal politics is very hard.

At 12:25 PM, Blogger the Mom said...

I'm sorry things are so bad right now for you. I think it must be different up north where so many more of the people are white rather than brown. They fear the change and the loss of their monopoly on things.

The thing to keep in mind is that white people aren't breeding and brown people are, so the next generation should be demographically almost even. Hope for the future!

But for now, move home to the Sooner state where we love everyone as long as they pull their own weight. (Which is more of a challenge than some of us would like to admit.)


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