The Complex Issue of the Border Crisis & What We Can Do


                                                                  “La Bestia” © Daily Zone

One of the big problems going on in this humanitarian crisis with the border and refugee children is that — contrary to popular belief — the surge of crossings is down, not up. 

What is up is the media’s alarming yellow journalism, and its insatiable appetite for anything juicy, that might bring parties to strike at each other, to go against each other and begin new fights. 

Of course, immigration brings out the worst in people. Previously, I posted a photograph of a young boy taught so early on to hate his brothers and sisters. How can he do anything but hate by the time he grows up? All he has known is hatred, because that is what his parents have known. His parents were taught that, and those parents before him. It is a vicious cycle. 

We love to see photographs of hatred rather than those of love and help toward others in need. I guess this is why, as adjunct faculty, we identify with these refugee children. We see our own need and want to reach out.


                                     ”Border Patrol Helps Young Refugee” © VOX

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Save the Refugee Children: Can’t We All Work Together?


                                                                                            © Ismael Huerta

As we walked across the highway and began to hold signs for the refugee children we were trying to welcome from Central America —though we knew it would most likely be months before the first would arrive anywhere near what I think might be an uncontested refugee status— I began making connections, as I usually do. Sometimes it aggravates those around me that I am always looking for bigger ties, links between things, but even in the most outlandish of cases, I usually have to listen to my intuition…

In this case, the connection was obvious enough.

“Yes love, No hate: refugee children all the way! Yes love, no hate: love the children all the way!

I felt an incredible energy walloping out the words, "EDUCATION, NOT DEPORTATION!”

We repeated incessantly, “Yes love, No hate: refugee children all the way! Yes love, no hate: love the children all the way…


That was my favorite slogan of the day, and each time, I belted these particular words out just a little bit louder.

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Where are our tears?


                               Desocupados, by Antonio Berni © 1934

We have been reading much about the border crisis, and though this is an adjunct faculty page, as I always say, everything is related. We are all in this together. 

As we can see, we are all disenfranchised. So are the children, young teenagers, mostly, escaping from their homelands because they are escaping violence and who knows what else, that — most likely — our great world of greed has caused. 

So now we turn them away. They, who need our compassion and our care, who need to be taught, not to be sent back to a certain death. They need to be taught by the likes of us, mostly adjunct faculty. Because in the end, that is where they would most likely go, once they entered into community colleges, if they ever make it that far… 

I am including here a letter I wrote to the New York Times, which they accepted and used as a New York Times Pick. 

I hope we do something to alleviate the pain not only these children are experiencing, but also their parents. It must not be easy to be a parent, and to send their children away — the love of their lives — because they think they may have a better chance in a better world. Better?

What sacrifices we make as parents! This is a little sacrifice we can reciprocate, helping them now… 


I am the daughter of a political refugee. 

I came to this country young, and I learned my new language, placing my hand across my heart, proudly saying the Pledge of Allegiance. But now, I am ashamed to call myself an American, which I became when my parents said yes to this country, a country which had fostered their dreams and saved them from the nightmare which was Cuba. 

I am ashamed of what I see now, how brother and sister and neighbor say “stay out, you don’t belong.” If they had told men like my father that, how many less teachers and doctors and lawyers would this nation have? 

Where is our voice, those who came with our parents as children but have become the backbone of this society? What about the Italians, or the Irish, or the German, who were fleeing persecution a couple of generations ago? Who took us in? OH how short our memory is…

I can no longer call this a great nation. I am ashamed of what I see today. 

In sol(idarity), 

Ana M. Fores Tamayo
Adjunct Justice
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If you care about education, if you have kids in college, or will, please sign this petition. It’s important that the labor practices of colleges and universities get a close scrutinizing from the Labor Department, since they so closely parallel the union-busting, wage thieving practices of the worst industries in the country. Our working conditions become your students’ learning conditions.

Support educators everywhere.

Groupthink: Where do Outlier States Stand?


“More courtesy. Courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Lately we have been discussing groupthink mentality. So I decided to look the word up to see what it really meant.

The New Oxford American Dictionary says this about groupthink:

“The practice of thinking or making decisions as a group in a way that discourages creativity or individual responsibility.”

While the Merriam Webster explains it this way:

“A pattern of thought characterized by self-deception, forced manufacture of consent, and conformity to group values and ethics.”

So I decided to ruminate a little on the word groupthink

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Disparity of Equal Pay in the Outlier States


Typical adjunct waiting for help in the outlier states?

                                                    © 2014 Huck/Konopacki Labor Cartoons

Since adjunct faculty member Keith Hoeller knows I am interested in anything Texas, he sent me this link a few days back. Notice the disparity of equal pay. Also note how the article is slanted to help the illusion that adjuncts are not so bad to have around: 

Thus we have one of the great universities in Texas — TCU or Texas Christian University (oh, the name!) — where adjunct compensation averages $3000/course, while full time faculty (FTF) salaries average $74K in the liberal arts college. Though this is one of the lowest compensations in TCU’s various schools, it still far supersedes adjunct compensation. As you know, too, adjunct faculty have no benefits, while FTF do. I will not quote the ratios of adjunct to full-time, since you can see that easily enough if you read the article. 

To contrast, here are stats on FTF compensation at TCU:

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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

I had posted this back in December 2013, but as discussions ensued concerning our universal rights as adjunct faculty, I thought it worthwhile to republish this, #JackLongmate’s important points on this declaration, as well as the declaration itself:

If the #UniversalDeclarationOfHumanRights is what our country, the United States, often uses to condemn bad behavior by other countries, maybe we should tell #HigherEd the following. HT to colleague Jack Longmate for recommending these ideological statements, endorsing workplace justice, and condemning elitism! 


President and Chair of the Commission on Human Rights, Eleanor Roosevelt, looks at the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Spanish. © UN Photo.


"Hiring at will faculty for the current term only, without extending any protection against unemployment, is in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Paying contingent faculty at a discounted pay scale is in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”  

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