sharon_dubois: (cailleuch)
Was listening to the women who I hire as a gardener concerning the practices of our mutual employer.  They now pay all PT workers with a card. I at least can opt for direct deposit. They also dole out financial aid on these things as well. War on workers & students.

paycheckswipe720
sharon_dubois: (evilWillow)
NASA Satellites See Sandy Expand as Storm Intensifies [video] | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

I'm glad I am in the Midwest at the moment.

Sent off my second email of the weekend that "may have consequences!'. Cami got laid off. Now the college is collecting fees from art students to offset her cost so how does that work? Refunds to students for not getting what they paid for? If I must, I will take this to the board of trustees.

Then I got admonished by my dean for asking a question of a colleague who is "outside my chain of command". So I asked him if he was saying I wasn't allowed to talk to the person. As my job requires me to talk to this person, was he telling me I couldn't do my job? Wonder what he will say?

So two emails (full of calm & professional and NO snark) that could have on-high raining down on me Monday. A few other facts:
1. I was not insubordinate.
2. I have never minded taking on dragons.
3. I have 35+ years in at the school.
4. I will turn 62 next Sunday.
5. I am the ranking member of the Department.

Stay turned folks, this might be an interesting week. And then of course there is Sandy, the "Frankenstorm" that started this post.
sharon_dubois: (Default)
The contract passed --75/25%. I wonder how many people actually read the thing. I sat in front of someone who did not even read the "cliff's notes" version before coming to the meeting. And this person has how many degrees and used to be a union officer?

So today I went shopping, I hate shopping but I needed to restock my pantry which was pretty low as I have been eating out of freezer & pantry that last little bit. Now I am restocked and am in the process of putting stuff away. Everything done but can goods. I needed a break so I went out took a few pictures before we have more rain and it messes up things.

First a panorama of the back yard. The Hansa rose is in the left background and is nearly as tall as the Japanese maple! It is supposed to be 4-6 foot tall but mine is 12-15 feet tall. Happy plant with monster thorns.



EtA: the Dame's Rocket (Hesperis matronalis) is a weed but it doesn't get weeded out until it stops blooming. It is a pretty weed.

A lot of the roses are in bloom. Some close ups, in order: Reine de Violette, a rosa rubifolia, rosa rugosa (Hansa) and a Buck rose, Square Dancer.









The red oriental poppies got beat up by the rain, but here they are.



And a couple of others...



sharon_dubois: (buffy_gang)
The republicans to whom I refer occupy the Michigan State House. It is down the street from my office. The other repub of more immediate interest is the pres of the college. We have been working without a contract for two years. The college spent about $1.5M on a lawyer from an anti-union "brain trust" to stall things. We just got to look at the contract!!!!

I am in a very red state run by some of the most pernicious repub weasels/weevils/whatever (autocorrect has been having fun as my fingers are forgetting how to spell) /politicians in the country. They have made this thing so much worse than it could be.

My pay is calculated by the days I work. So that summer off is not vacation -- it is time off without pay. If I vote "yes" for this thing then I get to have approximately the same pay for thirty two (32) more days of work. Oh joy! This document is so filled with squiggly words. You know the kind that a lawyer will tell you means the exact opposite that any sensible educated person might construe it to mean. I do understand why two of my colleagues retired last week. They must be independently wealthy or something because I cannot afford to retire. I could legally but I'm not old enough for social security and with what the state keeps saying they are going to do with my pension it is too scary. I want to retire but, I've wanted to retire since I passed that thirty year point.

Interesting times ahead (for all meanings of the word interesting) and those 32 extra days -- I see myself keeping track of billable minutes, oh yes.
sharon_dubois: (adminONLY)
One step closer to school being over. All that is left is graduation next Friday night. We have to wait a week because MSU is holding graduation ceremonies at the Breslin Center and we have to wait until they are done. Monday was get grades in day. Tuesday through Thursday were "Faculty Held Hostage Days". I cheated and took this year"s Personal Days for Tuesday and Wednesday. I went in today because it was program day and went to an early meeting where we were told that we were being reorganized again. All admins seem to want to do is shuffle us (all the easier to keep the level of tension up).

This morning I came out the door at an unghodly hour (for me anyway) and the neighborhood sparrows were screaming terrible things. It seemed like like my side of the street yelling at the other until I caught motion out of the corner of my eye. I looked up and it was a hawk circling. The buffet was screaming at the hawk, ahh. It was too small to be the female redtail that lives in the neighborhood, too big to be the christmas tree ornament, so I watched the silhouette for later identification. I caught sight of it again and could see that it was a blue-ish gray.

I also present you with pictures of my garden taken at assorted times this week.

An over exposed pic of the rugosa at the front door just to prove I do have roses blooming this early.



Assorted things in front. The iris are mostly all open this image is from Monday.







Out back but the dandelions need to go.

sharon_dubois: (Default)
Well last week I did the unthinkable, I criticized a colleague's class. We have been having this conversation for a couple of years now and every time I say anything I am an evil person personally attacking a poor innocent. I get students in my 200 level classes that don't know what they need to know to be successful in my animation class. I politely ask that a few thing be changed. And ask, and ask again. Others tell her changes need to be made and her response is that "the students like the class the way it is!" I shake my head and send out an email asking what things will need to be changed in the class this time. I send it to everyone because I'm sick of the "when I deal with this I'll have a meeting for everyone to have input" that never happens.

So tomorrow there is a meeting where I will present the remarks I collected. I've also found that she has been going to talk to people privately about hateful me and she has been told they agree with me. Oh this should be fun.

To bed because the meeting is at what to me is oh dark 30.

arrgh!

Mar. 28th, 2012 12:24 am
sharon_dubois: (adminONLY)
Heard late this afternoon as I was leaving school that paperwork concerning funding for next year was due today. Seems the new Department Chair didn't see fit to let us know. Oh joy. We got an extension until tomorrow so I am going to be doing a lot besides teaching my classes tomorrow. I've tried to get the forms that need to be filled out -- the only directions said "on the network" and I don't seem to have access to what I need. So tomorrow first thing is to have the part time secretary get the stuff. I'm sure she has access. Grrrrrrrr~!

Wonder how long this guy will last?
sharon_dubois: (adminONLY)
Another 80 degree day on tap. The heat has finally penetrated the basement where my office and classrooms are. Should be interesting this week being in a room with 20 server class heat makers and the heat on. The school doesn't turn AC on until May so we may have a long period of overheated rooms (at times they have been over 90 F). The only thing that gets you a fan is if you say the computers are suffering. No cries of students fainting from the heat matter.

And that note is a good segue into last night. The Board of Trustees meeting. Basically we were told that we are a bunch of money grubbing union thugs who are picking on a beautiful man, "best prez evah". That same prez now has armed guards as security on the entrance to the Admin building because, you know, roving faculty with rope, and knives, and guns and such. Given the current climate in Michigan I am not surprised. Sad but not surprised.

For Cami from last night's meeting:
zxzxz also told of visiting another college recently, and walking into the president's office and asking the secretary where the armed guards were. She was confused. He explained that WE have them for our president. She went and got their president to come and laugh and explain that he didn't need them.

finally

Mar. 16th, 2012 09:32 pm
sharon_dubois: (wrench_madAgatha)
::facePalm:: ::headDesk:: ::headWall:: Argh!!!!! Walk softly and carry a large frelling pipe wrench!

Today at 5:30pm the faculty union met for the express purpose of calling for a vote of no confidence in the administration of the college. We have not had a contract for nearly two years and the current administration is taking Community out of Community College. The Repubs in the State house have in this time passed all sorts of anti-union stuff. We can no longer strike, have the college collect the union dues, etc. They are on their way to disallowing collective bargaining for any public union. The college has spent $1.2 million dollars on lawyers to drag their feet for those 21 months. That is the set up.

Then we have people (adult, possibly thinking beings) who sit and say "but if we do this won't that make them mad? We don't want to make anyone mad." I finally got to make a motion for the vote a few hours later. Just about everyone at the meeting finally agreed to the "resolution".

::headWall:: ::headWall:: ::headWall:: ::headWall:: ::headWall:: ::headWall:: ::headWall:: ::headWall::

It shouldn't be this difficult to get people to stand up for themselves. But maybe -- I'm a 60's kid (occupied my first building when I was still in HS) and a damned Yankee so maybe I had a better education in how to do this stuff. I don't know.

Step two: the Board of Trustees meeting on Monday night.
sharon_dubois: (wrench_madAgatha)
or squirrely day, I'm not sure. This is how the day started. Looked out the kitchen window while pouring a bowl of cereal and saw a furry beast bouncing around. Didn't have my glasses on so grabbed the binocs and closely observed a tree rat. It was a red squirrel - a variety seen only one other time in my back yard. I pondered the sighting as I ate breakfast and then went out the front door to discover a black squirrel screaming, from it's perch in my street tree, at a fox squirrel rummaging around the mulch at the side of my yard.

When I first moved in, the yard (and trees around it) contained only fox squirrels. Slowly the black squirrels moved in from the east until a couple of years ago they crossed the street and are now the predominate squirrels on the block. We will have to see if the red squirrel was just a scout from the south or a settler and who will win the battle for ownership of my yard. My bet is on the neighborhood cats but that is another story.

So I went to school. This was the last day for two of my classes. So wacky behavior continued for most of the afternoon, just not tree rats behaving badly.

I stopped on the way home for some Chinese takeout because by this point I am just frazzled. Watched some TV, killed some pigs and am not looking forward to tomorrow -- it being a day of meetings when I should be grading. Grades are due Monday so it will be a fun weekend. Then two weeks off !!!!!!!!!!!!!#@#$!!
sharon_dubois: (wrench_madAgatha)
More meetings. I ducked out of the last one early so I could go to a reading at a local bookstore by Carrie Vaughn. Much better use of my time. Listening to someone read from a story that I will have to wait until October to read was good. Now I want to finish the story... I am not a patient person.

Off and on thunderstorms this evening. I was looking out the window when I saw a bolt of lightening hit something near by. No giant crashes, so I'm not sure what got hit. I was about 50 feet away from a strike on a choke cherry tree in my dad's back yard. Large, noisy explosion. It was scary the next morning to see tree shrapnel blasted through the sides of my dad's and a neighbor's garage. I'll have to look in the morning and see if I can figure out what was hit.
sharon_dubois: (adminONLY)
The first of the FHH days this week. Meetings, meetings and more meetings. Couldn't they just tweet me the few good bits and not waste my time? Unfortunately, that was a rhetorical question. Answered a number of emails from students and got my uploads to the server started. The copy should be done by tomorrow. The network today had lots of little electronic guys wandering around campus -- definitely not running. It was sooooooooooooo slllllooooowww!

Tomorrow is more server stuff and more meetings. I'm planning on sneaking out of the last one early so I can go to Schuler's and get Carrie Vaughn to sign a book or two. Here's hoping that happens.
sharon_dubois: (beautifulWyn)
Went out for a meeting at school. Said to myself that I would take pictures when I got home. Unfortunately a few of the blooms didn't do well during the shower we had. I still present them so you can admire the diverse colors. In another week they should be really great.

The meeting was concerning why the school feels it doesn't need to pay me for many hours of work. I think I won the argument because otherwise I get to file a grievance and wait forever to get paid. Right is on my side and the contract.

So I got home to slightly damaged flowers but they are pretty so here goes...

... the north side of my house where I use day lilies as ground cover:



... a variety of different ones in my front yard:







sharon_dubois: (gir)
Had a back procedure this morning and have mostly slept off the anesthesia. I am currently in the twilight zone where the local is wearing off and the important stuff hasn't kicked in yet. Hence the question marks on the subject line.

I will be going to Sandy's Birthday Party tomorrow night but otherwise this rates as a very lost weekend. I will be doing nothing useful for a couple of days while the meds kick in.

Then I need to start to get some stuff done:

_make some new clothes (it would help if I liked the stuff I find in stores but I don't)
_rewrite ARTS 151 - new version of the software (Painter 12) is out and my copy arrived on Monday
_rewrite ARTS 234 - new version of Maya 2012 is out - and I'm now all registered
_rewrite ARTS 235 - new version of Maya 2012 and Mudbox 2012 are out (see above)
_get a copy of Lion (osX 10.7) and try to figure out how much of a problem this will be for next school year

The nurse exclaimed, as she was doing the IV thing, that I was off for the summer. Her impression was that I was OFF for the summer. Well, looking at the above list most of it seems like I'm not so OFF for the summer. Note: May 11, 2011 was officially the last day I'm paid for until August 22, 2011. Just saying!
sharon_dubois: (adminONLY)
Just heard the report of what transpired at the Board of Trustees meeting. Apparently lots of people called the College Prez a liar and had the facts to back it up. Overflow crowd of angry people. I had to teach tonight so I could not go. It is usually good to go and heckle.

Totally surreal moment reported by Cami. The ex-Dean greeted her as if she was her BFF. WTF! I knew she was delusional!
sharon_dubois: (gir)
Today was a meeting day. Five meetings in a row!! I mean really, my brain was numb by the end of the day when I did a face plant on my bed (with cat). Meetings are evil. Meetings are mind numbing. If I had had a choice I would have stayed home for most of the day but I had no choice. Attendance required for FT faculty.

Ran errands after meetings but before the face plant. Came off the highway at Trowbridge and watched a very pretty red tail hawk harassing the wild life. Headed down Harrison through the agricultural portions of MSU. The golf course had lots of geese, the field of Black Angus had a raptor of some sort circling. A bunch of snow covered corn fields had more geese. Finished errand and headed home past a field of sheep with raptor circling. The field circling raptors were too far away for identification. The red tail was easy -- he landed in a tree as I was stopped at a light and the most evident thing was the magnificent red tail.

Oh and last night the Provost announced the cuts that were happening. She said they were just recommendations at this point but, yah know, I don't believe her. We will still be around until the next president decides to reorganize and slash. This weekend I have to write up my report about the state of our program etc. so it can be used to evaluate, etc. I knew they had already made up their minds and the report was busy work, but they still want it done! Homework of the non-useful sort.

thoughts

Feb. 7th, 2011 05:56 pm
sharon_dubois: (Default)
While we were eating dimsum and thinking thoughts about the trustees and our lack of a contract we decided on the official song of this "working without a contract period". We chose "Throw Them Overboard" by Abney Park from the AEther Shanties album.



Last time we hummed "La Marseillaise" and sang it softly in French. I must admit I sat through many a meeting knitting, perhaps channeling Madame Defarge without the blood.

fallout

Jan. 12th, 2011 09:08 pm
sharon_dubois: (Default)
Today was day one of Faculty Held Hostage Days(tm). Tomorrow is day two. All I can say is that at least I came with my own chair, and it is comfortable.

They showed us a new system being developed (it doesn't quite work yet!!) that we will be required to use. If it is like most systems the schools sinks money into it will never work but will cost a fortune. May be why they are stalling big time on contract negotiations. Was programmed using Active X so it will only work with Windoze and IE AND only on campus. Which means anyone who has a school supplied computer of a different flavor in their office is s##t out of luck. And those adjunct faculty that are not supplied with school computers ... to bad. Why am I still here? Oh yah, I'm not old enough to retire.

Grump, grump. Back tomorrow for day two.

Note: I spent most of the day dealing with students by email (yeah iPhone)! They canceled a whole lot of classes before registration was over. All the upset students contacted me! But then you see they do this every semester because to them classes are an expense not revenue and frak the students.
sharon_dubois: (Default)
I just got a request from my ex-Dean to write her a letter of recommendation. This is just wrong on so many levels. The woman was a micro-managing fruitcake. I fought her tooth & nail. She came very near to destroying my program and did severe psychological damage to any number of my colleagues.

Please to understand, I know a lot of people at school and found no problem going to a dean or vice president etc. to get what the program needed. Many times tramping over her head (and at times doing said tramping against her specific orders). She once told us we were only allowed to talk to people at the college who were in our "chain of command" -- couldn't talk to anyone else and were forbidden having "parking lot" conversations with colleagues. Yah, like that worked. At times I used HR against her. At one meeting I surprised her by sitting next to this HR velociraptor I had invited to the meeting. They hated each other and it kept the psycho in line. I fought dirty whenever possible. HR velociraptor or Provost, whatever tool worked.

We had to endure her for 7 years and danced down the halls the day she was made redundant. Now she has the chutzpah to ask for a recommendation. Really?! she is even more out of touch with reality than I thought.
sharon_dubois: (adminONLY)
It snowed today like it did yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that. Winter downwind of Lake Michigan.

I missed most the the heavier snow as I was teaching -- love those underground classrooms. I was told that at one point it was blizzard conditions almost -- except that the snowflakes were tending towards lace doilies. This only lasted about 10 minutes but freaked out a couple of people. I have no idea why.

On other fronts, we have been reorganized (or perhaps more properly described -- disorganized). Every few years the administrators at this college decided that they are bored, or whatever and shuffle around the programs, departments and divisions into a new order. Just when we finally got a new and good Department Chair trained up/broken in we are going to be getting a new one. When I first started at LCC I was in a group called Telecommunications and the Arts. Then we were moved to Technology, then Careers, then Tech Careers, then Business, Media & Information Technology and now we are part of the Art & Sciences Division in a Department called Communication, Media & the Arts. What comes around ends up back where it started. Please keep in mind in all of this that be are an Art program or more specifically Art, Design & Multimedia. What all of this means is that we are a commercial art program that uses computers (at least for the last 25 years) and the PTB have basically never known what to do with us. Vocational art (?!?!?!) program! We were invited to a "meet the new boss" thing tomorrow so this should be interesting.

Just saying -- in the last five years I have had five different Department Chairs and we are now up to six. I hope some one thinks this is all fun, I don't. Just so you know three of the five chairs were fired for incompetence (or given some bureaucratic equivalent). And next week is finals week, happy, happy, joy, joy!

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