Let me introduce myself. The blog is called “Signals from Mars” because Mars was my nickname when I was in college. I recently retired from a university as Founder, Director, and Professor of a program, so I have plenty of years of experience in what we call today “Higher Education.”
Having taught for over thirty years, I am now advocating that students do not attend college. Today, we have paper mills that call themselves colleges and universities. I am not talking about education for a profit. I am talking about classrooms today. Our goals are not to educate students but to process them through the institution. Uppermost in the minds of the bureaucrats are student credit hours produced.
In this first short blog, I will address the environment in which professors teach. In the institutions where I have taught students and I had to wear gloves to class because they kept the rooms so cold. (Oh, they were saving money. What were they saving the money for?) I have taught in classrooms that were too hot. One summer I taught two classes in ninety degree temperatures in a classroom. I could not drink enough water to stay hydrated so my kidneys shut down. I have taught in classrooms where after a huge rain, the carpet would be wet in the auditorium and that water stood about two inches deep at the front of the classroom.
Classrooms today must be equipped with the latest technology but those people who buy and install the technology are not teachers. Fifty percent of the time, when I was teaching face-to-face classes, the technology did not work and I had to fix it or find someone to fix it. In one classroom this year, the light was so strong that a student could not see the projected image from a digital project. The professor made no effort to cover the windows or find better equipment. I offered to buy new equipment but no one really cared if the projector needed to be replaced. How can anyone learn in an environment like this?
Classrooms are crumbling and the air suffocates students and professors because windows cannot be opened. Classes keep being enlarged to the point that even if a student wanted to speak to a professor, there is no time outside the classroom. How can anyone really learn in a class of a thousand or six-hundred students? Do professors have to become Rock Stars? The institutions use students to generate funds for their own purposes. I, often, wonder if students should unionize like some athletes are doing to protect themselves against greedy bureaucrats.
When I conceived of this blog, I thought that the title “Rants from Mars” would be my handle, but I changed in order to stay on middle ground. I am at the beginning of this blog and if you would like to participate in the discussion, please contact me.