Numbers

Posted on August 15, 2016

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I suppose I should be grateful that unlike other years, our president didn’t wax Orwellian and stand up and say all the things he “believes” in which are utterly belied by his actions.

He’s a good speaker, and presented our “terrible, horrible, no good very bad year” in an amusing way (with lots of titles of books as his slides)…needing coaching on how to pronounce “Viorst”…  but much less than amusing was the pretty much complete focus on money and numbers.   Positions will have to be trimmed and… no, there was no talk about trying to do it in the way that had least negative impact on anything.   It was all about the numbers (and painfully consistent w/ policies and actions).  In fact, we were informed that if we wanted a position filled, that we were taking that from somebody else.   NOthing about working together and building trust.   Also, we were informed that if everybody on faculty & staff got a *single* student to attend (either by sticking around or by deciding to attend), that our whole problem will be over.  So:  we are to sell people on attending Parkland.   *That* is all kinds of more important than figuring out how to reduce the obstacles to success here.   CLearly, we’re supposed to find some low-hanging fruit and get ’em into our doors.

‘Nuff about that.  The new technology innovation classroom looks fun — I’m going to brainstorm about ways to use it.  It’s really set up for collaboration.   Now, it is TYpical Technology — not all actually working — and there was a cringeworthy moment when basically we were told that hey, we could tell which students weren’t worth setting up some of the stuff for (it would be stuff not everybody int he class would use, anyway, but…)  because they weren’t going to be there all year.   Yup.   Not a thought about how that’s the kind of judgment that is extremely likely to be subject to bias.   I’m afraid that little video from Tressie McMillan Cottom   has had just a little bit of influence in sensitizing my ears and eyes to “how can we make sure our own kind are served?”

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