Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Lucky Dog Guy and Crazy Chester as Professors

It's a open secret that, for many colleges and universities, more than half of the courses are taught by graduate students and part-time adjunct faculty.  These are hired as needs arise.  They are generally paid poorly (say, $2000 or $2500 a class), and are given no fringe benefits.  Some unfortunates make a living by teaching multiple classes, often with a teaching load exceeding that of the full-time professors.  This article explains.

Now it just happened that one of the New Orleans universities needed to fill in two classes in philosophy with temp instructors due to overenrollment.  Now, why did this happen, you might ask?  The reason is simple.  University students with any degree of word fluency and bullshit ability can usually come up with credible  "A" garnering answers on exams.  For them, it serves as a possible display of this useful social trait, b.s.-ing.

For example, consider the question, "Is Hell endothermic or exothermic"?  An enterprising student answered thusly.

Anyway, getting back to the story at hand, the Chair of the Philosophy Department decided to put off his search by taking a little R and R in the French Quarter.  There, on Bourbon Street, he encountered the Lucky Dog Guy, selling hot dogs, and Crazy Chester, hanging out and taking bets on horses, and thought: "Screw it.  I'll just hire these two to teach those classes.  They both can B.S.; the typical philosophy major or instructor won't know the difference."

Chester's compadre, the Prophetess, was preaching nearby to the dissolute to mend their ways.  The Chair gave her the number for the Head of the Theology Department.  After all, why not make it easier for a pal?  Maybe, with a little makeover and more conventional clothing, she could pass as a part-time theology instructor?

So Professor Crazy Chester taught a course in Metaphysics, while the Lucky Dog Guy taught Symbolic Logic.  The L.D.G. also sold hot dogs on the side.  It was not until the end of the term that the campus food service got wind of his bootlegging hotdogs!  Crazy Chester made some extra cash on the side taking bets from C and D symbolic logic students.

By the was, both got the highest ratings on the "Rate Your Professor" site for the department.  And, with only a bit of exaggeration, that is how some institutions hire part-time instructors.


Duckbutt said...

This type of approach has become very typical, even for brand name institutions. It's mostly a cost-cutting measure, as the adjunct professors not only get paid poorly, but they have no frienge benefits such as health insurance, retirement, and so forth.

MarkD60 said...

The "gift of gab" or the ability to bullshit is a talent I sometimes wish I had a better command of.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

I'm sure that this impacts students' educations. In a way, universities have adopted a fast food approach to staffing, but there's a lot of potential academics that are need of a job.

TexWisGirl said...

ha ha. i could see it.

Mike said...

I have a plan. Get a part time teaching position and give a student in the class $100 to show Youtube videos.

bakku-shan said...

A funny story with a serious understratum.

Deena said...

I enjoy your tales of New Orleans characters! So that's one way of getting teaching assistants!

Grand Crapaud said...

Community colleges pay less than that per class.

Dianne said...

stopped by to say Happy Thanksgiving
thanks for always checking in. even when I'm erratic and not such a good follower