Found Object: Summer Cleaning

Location: Room 002 of the English Counseling Services Building, one of our offices for Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs).
Object: Rocky Balboa action figure.
Observations: 1) This figure has migrated between GTA offices for 10+ years, acquiring accessories along the way.  2) Google provides some history of its provenance: it is most likely a 2002 Gemmy Toys Rocky Balboa 18″ Animated Talking Figure. 3) Perhaps one of our GTA alums can fill in the historical gaps on its arrival to K-State English and the GTA offices? 4) Where will Rocky go next?
Location: Shared computer that has relocated from ECS 019, one of our offices for our term instructors, to ECS 022, another office for our term instructors. 
Object: Word document saved to the desktop of the computer, centered on the screen after logging in to the shared account, and addressed to the office’s next occupants from Jonathan Blake (MA ’17) and Niki Bernett (MA ’17).
Observations: 1) We are so grateful for the expertise and hard work of our term instructors who teach required and elective courses in expository writing, professional writing, and literature. 2) The “adjunctification” of academia is a real, systemic problem across higher education. We try to mitigate some of its dangers by paying more than $3,000/course, providing offices and tech resources, and offering health benefits and professional development monies as we work towards adding regularized instructor positions and reducing the number of term instructors.  3) ECS 022 will be a brighter, more temperate home than ECS 019, thanks to a window and a better ventilation system.
Location: Bulletin board in ECS 007, one of the larger GTA office spaces. 
Object: Individualized messages of advice and support from our 2nd year M.A. graduate students to our new 1st year M.A. graduate students, requested and prepared by the incoming officers of our Student Association of Graduates in English (SAGE) student group.
Observations: 1)  Our 2nd year grad students bring impressive crafting skills to the 2019-2020 academic year. 2) The advice ranges from the academic (“Don’t be afraid to write that ENGL 801 paper on any topic you like” from Dustin Vann) to self-care and well-being (“If you’re struggling with your mental health, workload, financial issues, or anything else, the English Department is incredibly accommodating and will help you however they can” from Stephanie Wallace) to the humorous (“Don’t try to handle it all by yourself. Unless you want to. In which case, good luck!” from Gehric Milton).  3) That range of advice will serve all of us well as we get ready to start the fall semester.


As the fall semester approaches, we’ll soon resume our twice-weekly posts — stay tuned!

Karin Westman, Associate Professor and Department Head



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