Something happened to the labor movement when it went from blue collar to white collar. This is nowhere more apparent than in the various teachers’ and professors’ unions.
Mike Alewitz captured some of the absurdities of modern-day union meetings in a bit of doggerel that he posted on the Academe blog maintained by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP).
Meyer “Mike” Alewitz teaches Fine Arts at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU). His Rate My Professor ratings indicate that he possesses, to put it mildly, an artistic temperament. “He told a girl he wanted to kill himself after he looked at her work, in front of the whole class!” one reviewer wrote.
To be sure, Alewitz is hardly a conservative, or even a libertarian. He teaches “mural or street art courses. ” One of his murals “depicts students struggling under the strain of college debt as the CCSU mascot, a blue devil, looks on,” according to the Hartford Courant. His ode to a faculty union meeting was entitled “Frustrations, Crustaceans & Class Collaborations.”
“The opening meeting of the faculty union at CCSU was graced with the presence of University administrators, invited by AAUP officers, who provided them with a lavish lobster spread,” Alewitz explained. “Sadly, I was not present to bask in the glow of this company-union affection – but it has inspired me to make this poetic offering.”
Here is what he wrote:
A springtime day with lovely weather,
Professor and Administrator – chums together!
They hastened cheery, without delay,
And gathered round a grand buffet.
An odd combination to be sure,
Class distinctions being obscured,
A union would never invite the boss!
My, what scrumptious dipping sauce!
Sure you’re axing all our lines,
But I’ve still got mine, so everything’s fine.
To hear the way those adjuncts whine!
Do you prefer the Port or Rhine?
You snoop and spy and discriminate,
Against our female professor mates,
You do the same to campus radicals
Pretty please – some more sabbaticals?
If our dear students could see us now,
Gathered round this splendid chow,
Their crushing debts sure makes us sorry -
Oooh – such crispy calamari!
Our forbears fought for union pride,
Went to jail, were beaten and died
In struggle, against goons and mobsters.
Oh my God! There’s even lobster!
Here we are “Colleagues,” special and bright,
Not a Fellow Worker in sight.
No Brothers, Sisters or Comrades to misbehave,
For they are turning over, in their graves.
Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.
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