Sometimes I feel like St. Lawrence

For those unfamiliar with this particular saint, St. Lawrence was roasted alive on a grill. Legend has it that rather than tell the Roman soldiers where the riches of the church were hidden (among them the Holy Grail), he said, “I am done on this side. Turn me over.”

I got to work this morning and sat down to an email from a colleague telling me that the American Federation of Teacher’s (AFT) Assistant Director of Higher Education and Communications, Craig Smith, had lambasted me on his blog. Evidently, what prompted his responses was a comment I gave to a reporter from the Michigan Messenger.

It’s not the first time staff at the American Federation of Teachers have taken exception to what we’ve published in the Adjunct Advocate. It is the first time my comments to the press on the subject of part-time faculty have resulted in such a quick response from anyone…much less the American Federation of Teachers.

Over the years, I have sent reporters to write stories about AFT policies regarding part-time faculty representation, and outlandish stunts on the part of AFT unified locals controlled by full-time faculty members. In short, we have worked to shed light on AFT initiatives on behalf of their part-time faculty members. Our reporters have asked questions that were perceived as threatening and overly probing.

Well, sometimes doing this job requires being able to take a bit of roasting. I lived in Rome for three years, and for the first year, I lived, believe it or not, in the quarter of the city called San Lorenzo (Saint Lawrence). While visiting Rome over the years I have driven many, many times past the church of San Lorenzo fuori le mura (Saint Lawrence outside the walls), where the gridiron on which Saint Lawrence was killed, is enshrined. When I go next time, I think I’ll pop in and have a look at it. Until then, I’m done on this side. Turn me over!

Listen to my blog entry here.

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