Countdown to Freedom: 12/5/2012

Three more days to go!

By golly. That’s one more regular class and the two Phaque Phinal days.

Adjuncts are required to show up for final exam periods, willy nilly, or else we don’t get paid. Doesn’t matter whether your course is one for which a final matters or not: you have to meet for the final exam period. I’ve been told we don’t have to give an exam, or make them do anything meaningful. We can have a pizza party, and many slave faculty do exactly that. But one way or another, if we’re not physically there, we don’t get paid for that day — and since most classes meet only twice a week, that means we lose 1/4 of a paycheck!

And that is where I first got the message that adjuncts at Heavenly Gardens Community College are not paid for the totality of the work we do. Our pay is only for the hours we spend in the classroom. If an adjunct gets sick and can’t crawl into the classroom, pay is docked. If the car’s battery won’t start that morning, pay is docked. If a wreck on the freeway stops traffic and makes the person an hour late, pay is docked. If an adjunct can’t get out of jury duty, pay is docked.

Thus, clear as day, all of the work we do in course prep, grading, mentoring students, attending faculty meetings, and killing half-days in required teacher-training workshops is unpaid labor.

At any rate, to get the comp stoonts to show up at this admittedly pointless meeting, I offer 50 extra-credit points for the Phaque Phinal, a ten-question review of substantive issues they should have paid attention to during the 16 weeks in which they idled away their and my time. For anyone whose score is on the plus side of a grade range (say, 86 points, where 89.999 is the top score for a B), 50 points can boost the person up to a higher grade.

Specifically, the questions cover

critical thinking;
rhetorical structure of specific essay genres;
assessment of research sources;
techniques of citation & documentation; and
a few of the most egregious matters of grammar & style.

The Phaque Phinal is a fake final because it’s an open-book, open-handout, open-mobile device, open-laptop affair. They can bring any- and everything they can haul into the classroom to help themselves maximize their scores on this silly little thing.

And I can guarantee this: not many of them will score the full 50 points.

Here’s your chance to score five phaque points:

The opinion of an authority has as much weight as an established truth: true or false? Whichever you select, explain why you think this is so.

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