Translator Needed Teaching My First College Course

Rosetta Stone does NOT have an offering of “Educationese”.  When you do work on a college campus in the US, you have entered another country as far as language goes, and you’re on your own for figuring it out.  Sorry, I should have said  “you’re in charge of your own self-development for this particular cohort.” (I’ve been meaning to look up ‘cohort’ all week so know I have no idea what it means.  In an education context.)

Look, I get it.  I’m a lawyer and God knows we don’t speak English. Well, we do sometimes. And I know that every professional  from plumbers to podiatrists; physicians to philatelists; paratroopers to ponzi schemers all have their own jargon.  Being accepted in any endeavor means learning the language. But, most if not all can still speak English and do some of the time. I guess because the environment is made up of sociologists and psychologists and accountants and biologists who are all speaking their own language, Educationese is a common language so they can (mis)understand each other. 

I was, honestly flattered to be asked to be an adjunct faculty at a local college of good standing and reputation to teach their first health law class. The faculty is dedicated and the students earnest.  But in the short time I’ve been an Adjunct, I’ve just had too many experiences which reminds me of Monty Pythons Ministry of Silly Walks. 

It started on my full day of New Faculty Orientation. Here’s who spoke: the Provost, the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs, the Dean of Students, the Associate Provost for Curriculum and Institutional Resources; the Director of Disability Services; somebody who wasn’t on the agenda but was in charge of Diversity stuff and hurt feelings (we had several role-playing exercises on how not to hurt people’s feelings: apparently a small minority of people with PhD’s are assholes- say it’s not so!!) and the Librarian.  I thought I knew what he did, until he explained it. 

The Dean invited me to take a course in Distance Education. Know what that is?  Teaching online courses. Why couldn’t they call it that?  Online courses is a common term. The acronym for Distance Education is DE.  At least my idea would be TOC.  They could pair it with Teaching Inspirational Content and call it Tic.  Tic Toc.  Big seller I think.

Anyway, a couple of weeks into this online course teaching me how to distance educate, the DE Goddess, (sorry, I’m too tired to look up her title- it was something like an instructional technologist or an instructorologist) e-mailed me about driving downtown to sign the form she needed to submit so I could get my stipend for this course. I emailed her back and said, “ummm, can you scan it and e-mail it to me, or should I just appreciate the irony of on online course that needs a paper original to get paid?” She wrote back laughing, well, lolling and said when she started the how to teach on online course was completely offline – in a classroom. She then asked if I was regular faculty or an adjunct be use there were two forms and only one could be used by the adjuncts.  Guess what that form said in bright red all caps at the top: NOT FOR ADJUNCTS. Me- email “Is this the right form?It says  says NOT FOR ADJUNCTS?”   Her- lol-ing some more- “Yes, ha ha, don’t go there”. (Can I get a federal grant to work on MY silly walk?)

My first faculty meeting was today.  I did tell the Dean after class that I have called distance relatives an put a contract on whoever designed the colleges online platform for faculty student interaction – I’m convinced they contracted this software development to a computer science drop out sociopath who was the model for the first episode of Criminal Minds)  the Dean offered to chip in on the contract price.  

One item on the agenda was the college’s upcoming accreditation with the regional accrediting authority (I actually run out of breath writing about this stuff). (Translation- no accreditation- no federal funds).  The discussion was about some stuff we had to do.  I could have said it they way they did, but I figured you didn’t want to read another 500 words) Then he said they appointed someone to be in charge of this effort. They’re the VP of Institutional Effectiveness. 

ROSETTA STONE!!!!!! 

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