About a month and a half ago, I agreed—as part of my job—to write a contribution for the BLS blog, due by October 6th, and to be published shortly thereafter. I agreed to this based on my understanding of what my job is, what it entails, the compensation I receive as a BLS instructor, and my belief that a community only works when its members participate in just that: a “communio” or sharing, from the Latin “union with.” I made this agreement in good faith and free from constraint. And, though some might argue this point, I made it being in sound mind and body.
But the situation has changed.
I am not happy with the present way in which the elected officials of the State for whom I work have conducted business regarding the educational system within which I work. In short, I disapprove of the massive cuts to higher education that the North Carolina State Legislature has made over the past several years.
Never mind that these folks have been duly elected by a legal process and have conducted this business in a manner consistent with the Constitutions of both the State and the Nation.
Never mind that “legal” does not necessarily mean “fair.”
Never mind that there are regular procedures in place to check the manner in which they do this business—that there is constitutional recourse to persuade, recall, impeach, or merely vote them out of office at the next election.
Never mind that what they have done is now “law”—and has become “law” in a legal and constitutional manner.
Never mind all of this because…well, I just do not agree with them or their “law.”
And while I adhere to the principle that writing a blog entry is part of my job, and that I have a duty to myself, to my institution, and to my students to faithfully execute the duties of my job, I have another principle that outweighs all of these:
If I do not get what I want, then I shut down.
At this point, I am not even sure what would make me not shut down. Or stop shutting down. Or start back up.
At this point, I am not even sure what I hope to get out of shutting down. Other than the shut down itself.
But none of that matters.
Because I have shut down.
So, until further notice—until an agreement can be reached that satisfies the righteousness of my indignation at the manner in which duly-elected officials representing the State by whom I am employed have conducted business in a lawful and constitutional and regular manner—until then, there will be no blog contribution.
I will not fulfill this part of my job. I have deemed it “non-essential.”
There will be no witticisms or anecdotes about me, my classes, my life, or my family.
There will be no funny or interesting or bizarre pictures to punctuate my points.
There will be no weblinks to follow for more information—at least none supplied by me.
There will be none of this.
Because I am shut down.
Of course, by shutting down and writing about how I am shutting down, I am still, technically, fulfilling some of my responsibilities and thus doing my job. Therefore, I will continue to be paid and will continue to accept and spend my paycheck.
After all, shutting down is hard work.