College parking

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by strantor, Jun 18, 2012.

  1. strantor

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
    4,302
    1,988
    I know we have some college educators here and I don't want to step on anyone's toes. On the contrary; if you have perspective and care to share it, I'll listen. So here goes:

    Imagine if you went to Walmart and all the parking spots in front of the store said "employees only. Customers will be towed" and all the spots marked "customer parking" were 2 blocks down and across the street.
    [​IMG]

    Maybe the students in general don't challenge this because they've mostly just transferred from High School where "the adults" ran the show and they just follow the rules. Or maybe we don't question it for the same reason we don't question rising insurance premiums and medical bills - because there's no alternative; no competitor down the road who is more fair. Or, maybe there's something I'm totally missing here.
     
    • hcc.jpg
      hcc.jpg
      File size:
      150.5 KB
      Views:
      90
  2. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,766
    2,536
    Or maybe the staff must have access, every day. This is not Walmart. It is not a Walmart parking lot either, here there is limited access. You are also talking a wide age spread, very young healthy people vs. older types who probably aren't in such good health. If they have a handicap I'm betting parking there is available.

    The comparison is a poor one.
     
  3. strantor

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
    4,302
    1,988
    Why are the staff of the school more important than the staff of walmart? I understand, if a professor is late to class because he can't find a parking spot, people are going to be upset. But that's the same for virtually every employee of every profession. Thats why the rest of us learn to plan ahead; give yourself 20min or whatever it takes to make sure you get a spot. We are talking about adults.

    Why is it any different than walmart's parking lot? Why is the access limited? If paying customers (students), much less employees can't find a place to park then that's a problem, and an establishment in any other industry (other than the govt) would use some of their revenue (tuition) to pave a bigger parking lot or build a multilevel garage built.
     
  4. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,766
    2,536
    Walmart does not require someone with a specific skill set, or if they do it can be taught very quickly. You are stuck on Walmart, this ain't it. Without the professors there is no school. They are the stock, not the building, not the extras. A school is about people with extraordinary skills, not things. With the teachers, you can have school anywhere.

    At this point I'm done. When Walmart offers an education let me know. As I have said, there is no comparison between the two. Maybe you could go to the other university a mile away? Wait, there isn't one. Again, not Walmart. A bank is closer to Walmart, and guess what, they have reserved parking too. Their skill set is much more available than a educators too.

    There are things to criticize about higher education, but this isn't one of them. You want unfair, try being a undergraduate (AKA, slave) for a while.

    If you have a broken leg you could always get a sticker.
     
    1chance likes this.
  5. strantor

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
    4,302
    1,988
    so, this one?
     
  6. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
    17,748
    4,796
    Consider the likely outcome of the following poll taken in most classes: "Of all the people in this class, who would benefit you the most if they were here on-time every day?"

    Where I just graduated from (and taught as well), the only reserved spaces were for the Deans and up. So at the building where I spent almost all my time, there was one reserved spot. If you have any awareness of a Dean's (or higher's) schedule, then you don't begrudge them this privilege because you know that they are booked pretty solid with meetings both on and off campus throughout the week.

    The faculty not only had to buy the same permits and obey the same rules as the students, but they got the privilege of paying significantly more for the permit because they weren't paying the "Public Safety" fee that the students were paying.

    Now consider the case of those adjuncts (honoraria, or whatever a given school calls them). At this school, we were paid a flat $2000 to teach a sixteen week course meeting twice a week for 1hr 15min each time. If we wanted a parking permit, we had to pay over $200 for it reducing your effective pay to well below $1800, especially if you consider the tax issues. Even if your entire time commitment was when the class was actually meeting, you were netting $45/hr. But if you had to leave work an hour before class started in order to drive to campus, find a parking place, and walk to class and then it took about an hour to walk to your car and get back to work, you were down to under $18/hr. And that was before you spent a single minute outside of class preparing lectures and assignments, writing exams, grading homework and exams, and meeting with students. Even if you only spent the 10hr/wk that was nominally expected, the pay would have been down to $11.25/hr. I kept careful track one semester and I averaged out to right at $4.50/hr (i.e., well below minimum wage even then).

    Had there been a small number of spaces that were reserved for adjuncts that needed to come in, teach, and leave then I could have left work a half hour later each day instead of having to allow that time in case I ended up having to park in the Visitor Parking (and pay $1.50/hr for since the permit didn't include that) and walk in since arriving late to class is not an option for an instructor, as far as I'm concerned. That would have saved me about 16 hours per course each semester and, since I was getting paid $35/hr at my job at the time, it would have increase my effective pay for teaching my more than 25%.

    Like most adjuncts, I wasn't teaching for the money. The simple fact was that if they told me not to come back my workload would have gone down considerably and my income would have gone up considerable. Just in the time I was away from work to actually teach I gave up over $3600 in salary in order to get less than $1800 in teaching pay. So why did I do it? Insanity plays distinct role. Most (not all) adjuncts have one or more of the following four motivations: To build a teaching resume, to give back to their profession and society, to gain access to students (to see who you might want to potentially hire), or because they love to teach. I was doing it for all four.

    As additional food for thought, consider that the typical in-state tuition for an engineering course is about $1500 these days and that there are generally 20+ students in a section. So the students, even if all are in-state, are paying about $30,000 directly. This doesn't include a penny of money from the state. The instructor is getting less than 10% of this. At many, many colleges and universities the bulk of courses are taught by graduate TA's or adjuncts. So where is the money going?
     
    1chance likes this.
  7. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
    16,298
    6,810
    You could do it like I did...ride your bicycle to school. Much easier to park!

    Wait. That only lasted for 2 years. After I got hit by a drunk driver and bought a car with the insurance money, I had to finish up that year in a cast, on crutches, and I still couldn't get a special parking spot.

    Maybe you should just be glad you don't have a broken leg.
     
    Sparky49 likes this.
  8. strantor

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
    4,302
    1,988
    good question. Any time you have to ask it, you probably need to reevaluate what's going on around you. Which is what I'm doing now.
     
  9. strantor

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
    4,302
    1,988
    I'll be riding it next semester, since I will be going to a campus that's closer. If I were to ride it now, it would be a 15mi ride on the side of the autobahn. Or 13mi down several smaller autobahns with stoplights every block. Thoughts of a 20KW freeway capable ebike are floating around.
     
  10. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
    16,298
    6,810
    Watch out for the left turners. It is legal for them to wait where there is no place to turn left into, and floor it just in time to hit you, and all they have to say is, "I didn't see him".
     
    strantor likes this.
  11. Sparky49

    Active Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    834
    417
    Do the earth a favour... Take a bus.
     
  12. strantor

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
    4,302
    1,988
    Houston has notoriously bad transit system. So sprawled out, everybody has a car (or 2 or 3), even the homeless. There are no safe places to cross the spiderwebs of interstates that weave through here.
    The busses are never where I need them to be - they stay mostly downtown where I don't live. I live 15 miles from school and it takes me 20-25min to get to school.
    Just to satisfy my curiosity I checked the metro bus website and I would have to walk 1.07 miles to get to the nearest bus stop and then take 3 busses over a span of 1hr 41min to get near the school. Then I would have to cross the freeway with no pedestrian bridge. Then do it all in reverse, after waiting at the bus stop for an hour. If I can make the 1mi trek in 15min, then that's 4hrs total transit time for a 2hr class. add my 10.5hr shift at work and the associated 1.5hr driving time with that, and we're looking at 18 hours away from home. I suppose if I wanted to sleep on the bus, I could take that to work also and just pay my wife a visit on the weekends.

    sorry, this rant is directed at houston's public transit system, not at you.
     
    Sparky49 likes this.
  13. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
    5,435
    1,305
    Buy a little $1000 motorcycle, a 250cc or so. You will save at least that much in fuel in the first year (so it's a free vehicle) AND it is much easier to find a parking space closer to the buildings.

    It's not as though you are going to get snow in Houston... ;)
     
  14. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
    22,182
    1,728
    Join the Marines. They'll teach you how to hike up and down mountains for many miles in Afghanistan while carrying 120 lbs of gear in 50°C heat and getting shot at.

    After that, your little hike from your car to the classroom will seem like a piece of cake.
     
    Sparky49 likes this.
  15. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
    12,446
    3,361
    Getting to work in itself is a pleasure.
    I cycle to work 5Km daily. This takes me 2Km along a quiet trail in a wooded area:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2012
    Sparky49 likes this.
  16. Sparky49

    Active Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    834
    417
    I'm very disappointed in you Mr Chips.

    Why have you not made your own speedometer? ;)
    ____________________________________

    Many folks seem to be keen on the ways of the good old days. My Grandfather had to walk 7 odd miles over two straths to get to school when he was just going to a primary!

    Before then, my great, great grandfather walked for three days from Tongue in Northern Scotland to the Black Isle, to see my granny when she was born. In those days roads were nothing more than a dirt track - if that! He slept in the heather, and took some cold tea and treacle scones with him.

    My point is you can always walk somewhere if you need to.
     
  17. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
    12,446
    3,361
    What you see is not a speedo. That is the display I am using for the GPS, auto-pilot, self-balancing, self-steering, auto-homing guidance system. If I had not cropped the photo you would see I've got no hands on the handle bars.

    And in case you ask, the zero display is the time left in μs for me to get home.
     
    KJ6EAD, #12, gerty and 1 other person like this.
  18. Eric007

    Senior Member

    Aug 5, 2011
    1,044
    33
    Are you for real!??:eek:

    Can you explain more...you customized it or...

    That awesome!
     
  19. Sparky49

    Active Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    834
    417
    Shall you break it him, Mr Chips - or shall I? :D
     
  20. strantor

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
    4,302
    1,988
    Good point, but there's always a bigger fish. Always someone that has it worse off that you, doesn't negate the basis for complaining. Slightly different in the fact that (albeit paltry for the job) they pay you to march through the mountains, whereas I'm paying to attend this college, which is where my beef lies. If the college paid me to attend it, I would walk the entire 15 miles if that were a stipulation.

    Plus, I already did my time. I wasn't in a God forsaken desert in imminent peril but I did do my time.
     
Loading...