This morning I was greeted with a note from the university that employs me that has everything to do with counting beans and nothing to do with advancing the agenda of higher education.
The note is from the IT department and its says that for the second month I have exceeded my internet quota of 30mb.
Read that again!
Yep, I said 30mb and not 30gigs.
According to them I owe the university in excess of a couple of hundred rand despite the fact that I use the connection mostly for work related stuff like updating several teaching blogs for students who have to access reading material from the web because the sh*t is not in the library.
See my political theory blog for example.
So, if I understand it all right then it seems that my employer now expects me to pay them to do my job.
This in addition to the stationery and other work related stuff I bought at the store because almost nothing is made available.
So what does higher education without pens, books, paper, and the internet look like?
My head hurts just trying to come to terms. I have a grand strategy for overall survival but it is failing me this very moment.
Believe me I am not in a bad mood. I am not even mad at being cooped-up in a time long gone where students are fed bullsh*t for the sole purpose of passing exams.
I am just beside myself thinking about the idiot mentality behind the decision to charge faculty for being connected to the web.
Oh yeah, students have it hard too, even harder is my understanding. Several have complained to me that they must pay each time they connect to the web and this is in addition to the standard tuition and fees.
So what to do? Should I get students to buy non-existent text books or Xerox mine and break copyright laws?
Or, should I send them back to the library to browse the yellowing pages of books that are hardly relevant?
The situation is frustrating. How can anyone in the brains trust that runs this country expect to produce students (they call 'em "learners" for some bullsh*t reason) who are critical thinkers?
Something needs to give. Something more than the development fixation on hosting the World Cup 2010.
What about developing education beyond the usual rhetoric?
As for me paying that little receipt the IT folks sent .... my check is in their email!
Unlike Raphael's Plato I have my middle finger raised in absolute defiance.