Monday, October 8, 2007

A productive meeting

No, not in any way affiliated with the university. I had a wonderfully productive meeting on Saturday with a couple programmers in the Bay Area of California. I flew up for the afternoon, arriving around 1:00, and getting dropped off by them at the airport for my return around 5:00.

For four hours (after getting their signatures on a confidentiality agreement), I expounded on my ideas and theories, and why and how and what. I gave them an overview and background on what I am trying to accomplish, what has been tried, and most importantly, what hasn't been tried until now. I laid out what I had written up of what I needed them to assist me in creating, as a toolset for developing my proofs-of-concept, which should lead to contracts and clients, and much more work.

They both seemed engaged and excited in moving forward with it. And now, I'm buried with grading, trying to dig my way through this four inch pile of papers and tests and assignments, so I can get back to completing the algorithm, clarifying the desired interface and tasks for the program.


My wife says she has a love-hate relationship with her work, reflecting that her Sunday afternoons present to her dread of having to return to her desk. I laughed and said I can't complain about returning to my office, my real office, where I build the dream of this applied research firm. But I do feel dread over the grading for miserable pay and no benefits.

I like the classroom; I like the students; I like being involved with engaging and inspiring young minds to follow their own paths (to pursue and achieve their greatest potential). But I abhor the treatment that I have been subject to. Some of it is mere circumstance: the fact that I have no permanent faculty job is not really anybody's fault (though surely I could have expected more support from my doctoral institution and program). Some of it however is the willful abuse of administrators, like those at Lemon, who choose to take advantage of adjunct faculty, and of the political leaders who provide so little public-funds support for education that those administrators are almost justified in their actions.

And this is my internal war. I want to build my research into a successful business, that has a positive impact on society (as well as my finances). I also wish to be a part of academia, contributing to a next generation of scholars and doers. Will I be given the chance to be true to both sides of myself?

1 comment:

Lilian said...

only time will tell. but I do hope so!