30 October 2015

My comments at the AAUP "Fair Contract Now" Rally @ CCSU


AAUP Rally @ CCSU 10/29/30
 
My name is Gil Gigliotti, and, with a brand-spankin’-new PhD in hand, I arrived at CCSU in the fall of 1992. They were troubled financial times then; no raises at all for at least the first three years.  In fact, my wife and I even qualified for a low-income mortgage program here in New Britain! Over the years, there have been wage freezes, and furloughs, and give-backs, and I’ve even had good offers to go elsewhere.  I haven’t gone anywhere else because I have become quite fond of my adopted hometown of New Britain and have grown to love and respect CCSU -- my students (current and alumni), my colleagues from across the campus, and the mission we have for all of Connecticut.
 
Today, in honor of my current ENG 213 students, I was going to serenade ConnSCU President Ojakian with a rendition of Randy Newman’s “Mr. President, Have Pity on the Working Man,” with such verses as,

 
We’re not asking for you to love us
You may place yourself high above us
Mr. President, have pity on the working man!
 
But I can’t sing or play the piano, and, more importantly, we are not asking for anyone’s pity.
 

What we seek today are fairness and respect for our students, our faculty and staff, our university, and our fellow citizens – a fairness and respect that seem oddly lacking in the Board of Regents’ initial contract proposals (not to mention the misbegotten Transform 2020).
 
What we seek is help in running our university the way a university needs to be run so that it REMAINS a university – that is, a universe of learning, and teaching, and researching, and creating, and building!
 
Now I’ve written a little something, entitled “DISS-ed,” on which I’ll need your help!
When I say “Dear Board of Regents,” you yell out DON’T DISS CCSU!
 
 
DISS-ed (Dear Board of Regents)
 
It would be easy to be DISS-heartened,
but the students, alumni, and faculty of CCSU have too much heart.
 
Dear Board of Regents, DON’T DISS CCSU!
 
It would be easy to get DISS-couraged,
but the students, alumni, and faculty of CCSU display remarkable acts of courage every day.
 
Dear Board of Regents, DON’T DISS CCSU!
 

It’s very tempting to DISS-trust each other,
but real negotiation requires mutual trust.
 
Dear Board of Regents, DON’T DISS CCSU!
 
and finally
 
We must never DISS-engage,
for true education
(that is, learning, and teaching, and researching, and creating, and building)
demands our engagement
with each other,
with our cities,
with our state,
with our nation,
with our world!
 
Dear Board of Regents, DON’T DISS CCSU!
 
DON’T DISS CCSU!
DON’T DISS CCSU!
DON’T DISS CCSU!
DON’T DISS CCSU!
DON’T DISS CCSU!
DON’T DISS CCSU!
 
 
 
****************************************************************

Author's Note:

I should make clear that I'm very aware of what Ben Franklin wrote in his Autobiography about the great effect the Great Awakening preacher George Whitefield had on his audiences and how much he hurt himself by publishing his sermons:

I am of opinion if he had never written any thing, he would have
left behind him a much more numerous and important sect,
 and his reputation might in that case have been still growing,
 even after his death, as there being nothing of his writing
 on which to found a censure and give him a lower character,
 his proselytes would be left at liberty to feign for him as
 great a variety of excellence as their enthusiastic admiration
might wish him to have possessed.
 
 

Day 171: The Sinatra Centennial Memorabilia Celebration



29 October 2015

Subjects (alphabetically listed) discussed this week in my classes



 "Ally McBeal: The Musical (Almost)"
(David Kelly)
 
Footlight Parade
(Busby Berkeley)
 
The Iliad of Homer 
(Alexander Pope)
 
"Leda and the Swan"
(William Butler Yeats)
 
 Letters From an American Farmer
(J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur)
 
My Freshman Year:
What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student 
(Rebekah Nathan)
 
"On the Inevitable Decline into Mediocrity of the Popular Musician 
Who Attains a Comfortable Middle Age"
(David Musgrave)
 
Poems on Various Subjects Religious and Moral 
(Phillis Wheatley)
 
Trouble in Paradise
(Randy Newman)
 
 

Day 170: The Sinatra Centennial Memorabilia Celebration



05 October 2015