Voices from the Picket Line

Striking CUPE 3903 Workers, in their own Words

Posts Tagged ‘women’s studies

I’m May and I’m a TA at York as well as a course director elsewhere; I am also a mom.

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I am in Ph.D. 4 in Women’s Studies, I am a writing instructor (which is a TA position) at the Writing Centre and I teach three social work courses at another university.  I also have a very part time additional job (approximately 50 hours per year) and have two children, aged five and two.  I am very lucky to have a partner who is immensely supportive, both emotionally and financially, which is the only reason I can even think of blending grad school with parenthood.  Even under these circumstances, however, I am forced to work far more than is really reasonable.  I do this because my childcare expenses are approximately $1700 a month– more than my paycheque from York; because my children are, thank goodness, thriving and therefore eat their own weight in food every week and outgrew their clothes faster than I can buy them.  I love teaching and can say, without conceit, that I am an excellent teacher– but I would never, given the choice, pick a life that includes the equivalent of two full time jobs (three courses is considered full time, and I am a full time Ph.D. student with a TA).

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Written by Gavan Watson

November 16, 2008 at 9:28 am

Meet Leslie. A course director and PhD graduate.

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Hey, I’m Leslie and I’m a course director at York and University of Guelph. I just finished my PhD in Women’s Studies at York, and throughout those six years I was a TA for seven courses, and in the last year, a course director at York and McMaster and GA at York. Back in 2002, I turned down a spot in the PhD program at a university that I loved because of York’s offer of a teaching assistantship – I accepted not just because I needed the funding, but because I badly wanted to teach. I still do. Now I’m on the picket lines because I am deeply concerned about the university’s attempt to shrink all forms of funding for graduate students and to casualize university teaching – a process that hurts all students.

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Written by Gavan Watson

November 14, 2008 at 11:19 am