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Oronte Churm

September 5, 2009

InsideHigherEd has, as a paid blogger, John Griswald who writes under the pen name Oronte Churm.  It you want to know more about him, go here.

John Griswald

John Griswald

Yea, I was a bit surprised, but then again the general topic of adjuncting brings with it pretty volatile reactions.  Just check out my post today:

I see this posting as a ink-blot test, which I pretty much glided the path of the comments–indignant, wondering of tone, looking up the author in the link, not remembering the Henry James character (but not really liking Henry James, so not worrying too much about it), then doing some literary interpretation of my own, and finally realizing that while movement from realization (adjuncts in my department) to lots of people work in outsourced jobs as opposed to the “careers” they may want to have (copy center people especially, but not so much Wal-mart employees…they seem to be, at least around here, of a more drop-out, can’t find much else, type). I was good so far. Then the Whitmanesque finish turned me back to indignant.

  • America, I saw at a glance, was full of people on the fringes of self-determination; the world tilted heavily toward winter with its load of adjunct people only making do; but the rankings looked good, the rankings looked very good.

    I don’t really think that adjuncts, which is where the piece started, are on the fringes of self-determination. They seem more of barred from self-determination (if tenure-track equals self-empowerment, which I have issues with as well). Sure, lots of people are working jobs to make do, but how is that thwarting self-determination. Is it through some lack of will, effort, or gumption that keeps me from the halls of academia, exiled to the hinterlands? Not really. It is the economic models of the instituations, my own decisions to pursue a degree I thought would result in different choices for myself, and a host of other factors that have nothing to do with my self-determination.

    So, in the end, I chalk this post, and the reactions from it (and I know of the reactions to posting at IHE) to the importance of word choice.

    I would write the piece, if asked, thusly::

America, I saw at a glance, was full of people on the fringes; the world tilted heavily toward winter with its load of adjunct people only making do, of which, alas, I was one; but the rankings looked good. The rankings looked very good.


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