Last week -- and to be honest -- months before, I've been involved with an advocacy project that you probably read about if you work in higher education; if not, then probably 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, 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. I'm still collecting and organizing links and stories to make sure as many as possible get shared and archived. Mainstream media an miss those chasing sound bites and quotes from the usual sources.
Did I walkout?
No, I did not. I'm retired and housebound to boot. I blogged about it and volunteered to help with digital media -- IT consultant of sorts. Then I got asked for advice on a page where adjuncts could post and sign in anonymously. I recommended Tumblr and helped with the page. Another friend put in a lot of digital media time too, including staying on top of Twitter. On Facebook adjuncts across the country flocked to the page and stayed to, as FB puts it, "engage with the page."
The call struck a chord. One person with a Facbook page and a hashtag (#NAWD) articulating an idea shared by many, a few more putting in a lot of time 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 in and innumerable volunteers that spontaneously showed up and contributed. 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