Last week -- and to be honest -- months before, I was involved with an advocacy project that you probably read about if you work in higher education; if not, then maybe not, although it did make Slate, The Atlantic, Washington Post, the PBS News Hour and local news. National Adjunct Walkout Day. Not that there was that much walking out -- more like coming out, teaching in. An anonymous California adjunct, tweeting as @NationalAdjunct (AN), started it in October by asking what a day without adjuncts would be like -- and setting a date.
That was last Wednesday. It's not really over yet if you count the reflections and wrap up. It was a lot of different things to different people ~ tl;dr. I'm still collecting and organizing links and stories to make sure as many as possible get shared and archived. Mainstream and local media, Facebook pages and blog posts. Links harvested from Twitter. I won't miss the signal boosting, post churning or chasing sound bites and quotes.
Did I walkout?
No, I did not. I'm retired, nearly housebound to boot. On the recommendation of a mutual friend, @AddieJunct (AJ), who was helping her, NA invited me to come on for digital media -- be an IT consultant. I agreed but asked to remain low profile. Another story, tl;dr. NAWD needed someplace online where, unlike Facebook, adjuncts could communicate anonymously. After an online bulletin board never quite took off, I recommended a Tumblr with setting options to enable anonymity, guest posts and questions. NA's niece opened an account for her. I set up and ran the National Adjunct Tumblr, and started an archive to have a record of NAWD's digital footprint. AJ and I both put in a lot of social media time on multiple platforms. She stayed on top of AN's Twitter stream and DMs when it got busy. On Facebook, adjuncts across the country flocked to the page and stayed, as FB puts it, to "engage with the page." That was (and remains) NA's domain, over 7,000 strong.
The call struck a chord. One person with a Facbook page and a hashtag (#NAWD) articulated an idea shared by many. More kept showing up spontaneously and pitched in regularly, including a digital graphics wizard with two pseudonyms who created and kept updated a map showing campuses and organizations as adjuncts, campuses and groups checked, and Adjunct World Comics (also on Facebook) created a wealth of adjunct-inspired design, art work and comic strips. Innumerable volunteers shared banners, posters, pins, photos, hats, t-shirts and more.
As intended and hoped for, an informal cooperative network with no organization or infrastructure turned into a national happening -- international when colleges and casuals in Canada, Ireland, UK and Australia joined. Grassroots. Some events were very organized but not by us.
This isn't small enough for a slice but will have to do. That was my February and this is part of the processing.