Wednesday, August 1, 2007

My next class: Japanese Porn

I have not written for about a week or so and the reason is twofold.

First off, I have been writing extremely well and have been selfishly (or wisely) directing all of my inspiration for the keyboard toward my dissertation. I am hoping to have my first chapter (still untitled) to be completed by the end of the week. As soon as I finish the draft, and assign a title I will be sure to post it here. I am very excited by this progress.

The second reason reflects less well on my character. And that is that I have encountered a series of setbacks which have thrown me into another period of low(ish) self-esteem and I have not been really ready to confront it here on the blog. For the last two weeks or so I have been corresponding back and forth with Film and Media Studies office in Irvine trying to convince them not to cancel my class which is scheduled for next week. A couple of weeks ago I received an email that threatened to cancel my class due to low enrollment. There are 8 students enrolled and apparently the course will not be profitable for the university if they don't have 12 students or more. I have been sending announcements and even asked the currently enrolled students to do their best to enroll their friends and colleagues in the course. No luck. And as of this morning, the class was officially canceled. I have received emails of disappointment from students and still have not received an official notification of the cancellation.

Now to put this in perspective, this means that my summer pay is gone out the window. Now let me put this in another perspective: this means that there is $3200 that I will not be receiving on Aug. 31 as planned. Not to mention the syllabus I have spent time developing, the readings that I have organized, and of course the time spent publicizing the course.

I have no idea what is behind the low enrollment. My course description was admired by a number of full-time professors, and up until two weeks ago everyone kept telling me that I was worrying for no reason when my numbers were low. Deep down I have to admit that it is kind of hard to compete with American Superhero Film and Japanese Horror Film both classes being taught the same time as mine. Maybe I should just offer a course on porn so that I can make sure that I get paid. It is too bad that academia has become a marketplace.

I'll tell you one thing. This is the last time I will ever offer to teach a summer course at UC Irvine.

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