Monday, March 11, 2013

well, that's over with

Like the one that I wrote on February 11th, this post is dedicated to FUNSCAD--this time to the members of Unit I.


This week has been incredibly stressful, and from Tuesday to Thursday I wasn't sure where one day ended and the next began. They all blurred together in my mind and it was only when I went back and reread my Facebook statuses on Friday evening that I managed to sort it all out.

Also, correction: last week I wrote, "One of the issues that FUNSCAD I is fighting is the fact that the administration is trying to prevent part-time and regular part-time faculty (part-time has three different levels, and from there it gets rather complex) from being on-campus outside the regular semester, which doesn't bode well for students who want to meet with a part-timer in the summer." This would only apply to faculty members who aren't employed by the school during those months.

Monday: We watched an NFB movie about Marshall McLuhan.

After class I picked up Anna's Instax camera at the Port Campus.

Tuesday: I spent the afternoon doing homework, including visiting the Saint Mary's University Art Gallery to take notes for the second gallery review.

That evening we had another GA. I went early because I wanted to photograph for my project for the WftA show. In addition to photographing the quirks and other things that make NSCAD special, I'm going to try to photograph as many of the departments as possible. This is a daunting task because the departments are spread over three campuses, and Granville is a maze. Also, I don't know where many of the departments are--I probably only know a quarter of Granville, if that.

The GA was a long one--two hours--but we decided our next direct action. We're going to wrap the NSCAD lions--a gift from the NS government--in red fabric (representing the school's debt, which is less than other NS universities, though we're being bullied more), à la Christo and Jeanne-Claude. We're also going to tie pieces of red fabric to the Province House fence, in a sense tying our debt to the government. And we'll play Red Rover and call the government over.

Wednesday: That day FUNSCAD I's strike became legal at 1:30 PM. I went to school early and stopped at the SUNSCAD office to see if there was any news. The strike vote would happen at 4:00 that afternoon. More waiting. Ugh. I spent the afternoon doing more homework and waiting impatiently. I also came up with a plan, should FUNSCAD go on strike: get as much work as possible done (due to no classes, I'd have a bunch of free time that I'm not used to right now, and I'd need a way to fill it, even though the year would be extended to make up for lost time), and spend as much time as possible on the picket line in solidarity. When 4:00 rolled around, I started checking my school email obsessively. I finally got a message from SUNSCAD's president, Sarah, but it was rather cryptic, so on my way out I stopped by the student union office.

Graphics was cancelled that evening. No reason was given. While I love that class, due to my homework situation I didn't mind: that was three more hours in which to get stuff done.

Thursday: We presented our second projects for Reconfigured Image. This particular crit had us going all over the photo dept.: the finishing room, the classroom and the computer lab. Mine went very well.

That evening the previous two days caught up with me and I snapped: "[I am] going to be VERY happy to sleep in this weekend. All this strike-related stress has taken its tole, as has the homework. I will be SO glad when I get the final word about Funscad from either them or S.U.N.S.C.A.D. I don't want the teachers to go on strike, but at this point just KNOWING either way is good enough." Not long after that Facebook status update, the news started coming in: a tentative agreement between the school and the faculty union had been reached. At first the news (posted on the university's Twitter account and copied and pasted to the SUNSCAD Facebook group) was a bit cryptic--knowing how unions work, I had a feeling that it meant that there wasn't going to be a strike, but I wasn't sure. But then the university's Facebook status was updated with a clearer message: "Breaking news! NSCAD University and FUNSCAD Unit 1, representing faculty members and librarians, have reached a tentative agreement, subject to ratification." When I read that, I started crying out of relief and joy. By that point, I was up past my bedtime and I knew I'd be exhausted the next morning, but I celebrated by dancing around my room to Sham Rock's version of I'll Tell Me Ma.

Friday: And yes, I was tired. The fact that class started at the time listed on the schedule (8:30 AM) rather than 9:00 didn't help matters. Class was devoted to research presentations for our final focus papers.

Anna gave us the rundown of what's left and two groups presented.

Understandably, both she and Bob were both super-relieved that they didn't have to be on the picket line that afternoon: Bob said that he was very happy about the fact that he'd be in his office that afternoon and at the end of WftA, Anna told us to enjoy the weekend--"and no strike!" That got applause from some of us, including me, and I threw in a cheer.

Saturday: As for me, I was very happy to sleep in that day: the previous three nights I'd gotten eight or fewer hours of sleep, and by Friday night I was exhausted.

I spent the day listening to opera and studying.

Sunday: More studying. I somehow managed to get everything crossed off my to-do list by Sunday night.

That evening, I hunkered down with Jack, a biopic about Jack Layton produced by the CBC. It brought back many memories, both happy and sad, of the Orange Crush and Jack's death. While I'd heard about some inaccuracies, the movie was very well done: well-directed, -acted and if you didn't know better, you would've thought that that was Jack (in real life, Rick Roberts doesn't look anything like him). The movie reminded me why I was so proud to cast my ballot for the NDP in the '11 election.

I also struggled to write this post: when it was just about ready to be published, something happened (I'm blaming Blogger) and I lost everything and had to start from scratch. Two hours of writing--gone. This has never happened before, and I've been writing this blog for four years as of today (yay!). I managed to rewrite pretty much everything in about an hour, but by that point it was almost two AM, I was wiped and I needed to get up reasonably early today, so I put off proofreading and posting until now.

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