You can buy my book, Experiencing Rush: A Listener’s Companion (2014-11-16; hardcover & e-book), at Rowman & Littlefield (the publisher), Amazon.com (or a non-US Amazon, such as in Canada or the UK), Barnes & Noble, Chapters Indigo, etc. Thanks!
- Music History & Culture Writing: including Books, Chapters, Articles & Papers
- Music: Choral Singing, Piano Accompanying, Song Leading, Vocal Solos & so on
- IT Consulting: Developing Websites & Content, such as Music-Related Projects
The administrators hovering over university music departments may eventually figure out that “large enrollment undergraduate courses for non-music majors” are the only thing keeping their books balanced. They might then realize that they should hire tenure-track music professors who actually specialize in such things (e.g., the history and culture of popular music, film music, and so on), instead of hiring permanent faculty members mainly for subjects almost no-one studies or cares about.
Re the CBC’s Most university undergrads now taught by poorly paid part-timers (includes an embedded player of the radio documentary):
Having a large part-time workforce of adjunct instructors is not an unfortunate consequence of under-funding universities. It is a planned consequence of higher education trying to sustain too many programs, taking in too many students, and having way more non-faculty employees (administrators, etc.) than it has tenure-track and tenured faculty members. Pat Rogers (of Wilfrid Laurier University) and Ken Coates (of the University of Saskatchewan, formerly of the University of Waterloo) have basically given up on higher education actually being for education. “Saving money” for student residence climbing walls and whirlpools is now the priority, even though money is not actually saved, because of hiring a new administrator for every little thing.
The “statistic” about an adjunct (a.k.a., contingent, sessional, etc.) instructor making $28,000 to $45,000 a year for teaching the same number of courses (four) as a faculty member making $80,000-$150,000 is misleading. Most adjunct faculty do not teach full-time: I typically made around $16,500 for three courses per year. Even as a Visiting Assistant Professor, I only made $22,000 for four courses. Maybe things are different in STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math), but adjunct instructors and faculty members in most disciplines simply do not make the kind of money indicated. Also, numerous Ph.D.s eventually leave academia and become things like school bus drivers, real estate agents, yoga instructors, and welfare recipients. Some of us also publish books and articles, present papers at academic conferences, and so on, but none of that provides a living wage. Writing usually works out to less than minimum wage (not to mention that it’s only a part-time venture), and, in fact, presenting at conferences costs money. Usually, it’s just faculty members who can get conference travel funds.
Most adjunct instructors continue to hold out hope for landing permanent academic positions, and they thus resist saying much about their circumstances of low pay, limited or no office use, no benefits, no pensions, and so on. Conversely, most tenured and tenure-track professors won’t go on record on this issue, either, because they would almost invariably appear to be unsympathetic. So, documentaries such as this one end up having to interview administrators, even though the over-hiring and over-prioritizing of them is one of the main problems in higher education today. If you don’t believe that this is an issue, see also the Huffington Post’s New Analysis Shows Problematic Boom In Higher Ed Administrators.
From August 1-8, I was on vacation in the Adirondacks in Upstate New York, staying at Vicky’s family’s “camp” (a.k.a., cottage) at Big Moose Lake. The camp was given to her grandfather (an attorney from Albany) for helping recover money lost by some inn-owning sisters. Big Moose Lake had also been the site of a notorious murder, in which a young man used the remote location to kill the young woman he had gotten pregnant. The story was transformed by Theodore Dreiser in his novel: An American Tragedy (1925) and then also further transformed (and re-set in California) in the classic Hollywood movie: A Place in the Sun (1951).
We thought we’d be roughing it, because a tree had landed on the roof and cut out the power a few months earlier. However, the electricity had been back for a few weeks by the time we got there and was more properly repaired on one of the days we were there. On the other hand, there’s no cell phone service in the area (but there is a land line), limited internet access (sporadically from a nearby inn or by parking near the local fire station), and no TV (although some camps do have satellite dishes).
The best option for internet, etc. is the nearby town of Inlet (a 20-minute drive), which has a public library, an excellent ice cream shop (Northern Lights), and other nice stores and a great restaurant (the Screamen Eagle). The next nearest town is Old Forge (about a 30-minute drive), and it is quite a bit larger.
I missed out on a fairly major hike on August 4 (Chimney Mountain), because I was trying to get over this swollen-gland and sore-throat thing and also had plantar fasciitis in my left foot. So, I hung out with Vicky’s two dogs, took some pictures, listened to a bit of NPR, and rested a lot. I also started reading this book I’ve been meaning to get through, as well as the Sunday, August 3 newspaper from Utica, brought by some additional family friends visiting from there.
When the others were around, I went to a craft sale at the Big Moose Community Chapel, helped with meal preps and cleanup, occasionally swam a bit (and/or floated on this plastic, inflatable island thingie), and so on.
We got some nice photos behind the chapel and down by their dock.
Unfortunately, the family staying with us (the Pyles, who are close friends of Vicky’s) unexpectedly had to leave on August 5, because their basement in Burlington, ON got badly flooded during a very heavy rain storm the previous night.
From mid-day August 5 until August 8, it was mostly down to three of us (Vicky, Emma, and me), except for a visit by Jeannine and her husband Charlie on August 7. On August 6, I joined Vicky and Emma for the hike up Bald Mountain.
I just ran Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (the free version) on my computer for the first time in a couple of months. It scanned 548772 objects, so I guess I’ve been more productive than I thought! I also have AVG AntiVirus (free) installed, occasionally run an older version of AVG PC Tuneup (they haven’t charged me anything to keep using it), and use EaseUS Todo Backup (free). Those are some good options, although they are less “cloud”-oriented than some of you may like. They are also not exactly fast, so run them overnight.