Thursday, June 10, 2004

My God given right as an American

Why the hell does Kansai Gaidai have to give us free apartments in the first place? I would personally rather execute my God given right to deal with legalized discrimination practices against foreigners, "key money" security payments of up to three months rent, and a long commute to class on hot, smelly, overcrowded trains. As an American, I have this right!

Why? Because we love you. M-O-U-S-E.

Secondly, at some point further down the track, I would like to request that Dean Y. speak to us in person and explain why the university has a policy of “5 years and you’re out”, which so fundamentally prevents the development of any kind of academic community.

All hail the communist manifesto

Anyway, workers should stand in solidarity with each other. Back in Canada I always took it for granted that my union / professional association would protect me and look after my interests. Not having such an organization as a union or a professional association on campus, I guess we must strive to be more sensitive to the collective needs of the group. Perhaps we are all a bit atomized at Kansai Gaidai, and a meeting would help to remind us all of the value of discussion and endeavour that works toward the collective good of the instructors at this institution.

We are the Borg. Resistance it futile.

For if part-timers can do our job, what keeps the administration from letting part-timers teach any of the classes that guarantee we have a job as IES (sic) teachers? This question may not have addressed a relevant point in previous years, but today, we must not understand ourselves as individually hired teachers anymore. Instead, if we think about ourselves as an entity, it should become apparent that hiring a part-timer to take over some of ‘our’ classes, no matter how experienced or qualified this part-timer may be, could potentially weaken our position as a unit, and the ‘value’ we represent to the university.

You've been living in a dream world, Neo. This is the world as it exists today.

Teachers have a tendency to complain about class size, and I am no exception. We (should) know that, from a pedagogical perspective, the ideal class size for foreign language learning hovers around 12-15 students--a perfect figure, but not feasible, for tuition would skyrocket (I have taken and taught foreign language classes in six
different countries over the last 12 years, and the only time there were less than 20+ students in a class was—hmmm, never.). Around 20 students per class would be acceptable, but even most English Departments (in regard to writing classes) in the US cap enrollment around 25-30. And at other Japan universities, class size tends to
be significantly above what we deal with. Time for a reality check?

Alternative pathways to the classroom

Why is it that there are always so many students in the halls in between classes? It is becoming more and more difficult for me to get from my office to class on time, even though I leave plenty of time. I propose that we restrict student access to the hallways. After all, every classroom has a window. Do you see my point???

Thou shalt not plunder research funds

Is there no better way to fill the resource room than plundering the kenkyuhi funds of departing teachers? Shouldn't some office supply funds exist somewhere (as they presumably do for the supply rooms downstairs)?

Student elevator delinquency

Another thing: can the university 'educate' students - by use of signs or whatever means - NOT to use the elevators to go up only one floor? FFS, I even had a student today who got on to go DOWN one floor.

Let's change the academic calendar year! Why not?

Is it necessary to teach Monday, December 21st, for example? Why not start the school year one day earlier instead?