Friday, July 20, 2007
My stint with Bishop's University is over. I got back today -- what a rainsoaked drive, culmination of a rain-soaked session -- and spent much of the afternoon & evening sleeping. Buildup of stress, but also a good reason: I woke up at 3 last night, picked up the guitar and came up with a song, or at least the outlines of one -- it's a good one, a kind of Bruce Cockburnish/Dave Matthewsish blend that takes me into new regions. My mind was on fire, I couldn't go to bed, so I also revised a poem. Maybe I got three hours' sleep last night.
It was a good session, teaching-wise -- despite the disruption of picketers blowing whistles and blowhorns, while cars & trucks (and there are always a lot of trucks on that road to Lac Megantic) honked in support just outside my window. The University is in crisis, facing a huge deficit -- and has come down hard on administrative staff, laying off several and freezing wages, precipitating a strike of all non-teaching/non-managerial staff, including my immediate boss. Now, though, the top brass is threatening to close down the university. Ridiculous! According to rather informed sources, the main problem is that the Provincial government hasn't been passing enough money down to the higher institutions of learning, and now don't want to bail out a tiny school like Bishop's because a number of bigger schools facing similar shortfalls -- UQAM, Concordia, University of Montreal -- will come after them with their hands out.