After all of the setbacks in my program of study, I wanted to take a much needed semester’s break to recollect myself and to wait until the wife’s tuition reimbursement kicked in. First I was told I could, then my graduate secretary told me “you can’t do that during dissertation hours.”
Scott is not very angry. Not just at this slight, which is just one of a series, but because it is one of a series. I was repeatedly denied teaching and assistant positons, despite being in the doctoral program — even when the Office of Graudate Studies own guidelines at the time specified the “most qualified” applicants were to have first consideration…masters students are, by definition, less qualified, but at the University of New Mexico, skin color, sexual orientation, and gender matter first.
Scott goes to the OGS and gains clarification. My kind of petition: family exigencies, professional obligations (I am teaching at another university), and financial troubles mean — according to the lady that makes these decisions — that I do qualify. I go to the College of Arts & Sciences to meet with an associate dean over the issues endemic in the program: discriminatory aid decisions, poor program choices, overly specialized faculty, and spineless leadership. Oh…she’ll get back to you.
So I’ve been touching base with a few of my lawyer friends. It’s time to go to war and damn the consequences. Because if I have to drop out, after all the money I’ve spent and borrowed to get nothing in the way of service or product (a degree) and all the determination I’ve showed (two chairs died killing my program of study twice and my current chair gives feedback for my work in geologic time scales), you’re damned right I’m going for compensation.