12 August 2009

As Lando Calrissian once said...

"This deal keeps getting worse all the time."

Okay, so it's not 'garrison-troops-at-my-house' worse, but as part of the ongoing budget crisis the state-board has decided to change the way the "15-hour" rule is enforced. Full-time employees at ISU are supposed to be at 15-hours each week. The way the math department had been filling the extra 3 hours was by having us work in some sort of tutoring lab (math and learning center or math 108 center). Apparently that is no longer acceptable, and 15-credit hours is now considered a full teaching load. For those of us teaching 108, though, Fisher bumped it back up to a full class (3 credit hours), but with the catch that we have to work extra time in the math 108 center, so that each 108 class can count as 3 credits towards our load.

I'll be honest and say that Fisher's personality grates on me, but he's been handling this situation about as well as anyone could be expected to, and I overheard some stuff that I would not want to share online that makes me a think a lot better of him than I used to. Suffice it to say, he's doing the best he can for his department in an impossible situation. However, I'm suddenly feeling even more relief than before that I should be out of it next year. At the moment, almost anything* sounds better. If the budget ever stabilizes, they might be able to put a sane system back in place, but for now... YECH.

And I'm still thinking that physics is the way to go. I see more places I can go with it than with math at the moment—at least, more places that I want to go—so I've dug out my old physics books and I'm going to start working through them again. I even found my old GRE-physics prep book. I should try to find some more recent versions of the test, but it's a decent starting place. If I don't get a decent assistantship with physics, there's still math, but I'd much prefer to make it into physics.

*anything not requiring me to work closely with gluten, at least. So, no fast food.


IAMB said...

You're getting out???

I'm guessing you're looking at chasing a PhD now instead of doing the teaching grind full-time? If so, good on you.

Qalmlea said...

Getting out mainly because they threw me out. I got a "terminal contract notice." On my birthday, no less. So, yeah, I'm thinking that going after a PhD might be a useful thing to do now, preferably something related to nuclear physics to increase my chances of being hired by INL.

However, if I find something at INL for which I am currently qualified, I will probably apply, and take it if possible, and then maybe see if they'd be interested in letting me work towards a PhD while I work for them.

It's been an interesting month.

IAMB said...

Ugh... sorry to hear. Are you around for one or two more semesters?

Qalmlea said...

My contract terminates next summer, so I've got this year still to teach (and get back into physics mode).