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Hard Lessons

Posted 11/14/2007

I taught at Baltimore City Community College for several years, and I see nothing has changed since I moved on to bigger and better things ("Lessons in Frustration," Mobtown Beat, Nov. 7). From secretaries all the way up to division heads and deans, the place is mired in a culture of excuses. The usual operating mode for the staff is sullen and incompetent, occasionally segueing into rude and abusive. Getting a contract, getting a paycheck, getting keys, getting copies made, getting into the building to do some work on weekends--tasks that are totally routine everywhere else--turn into endless, insurmountable obstacles, year after year. I know whereof I speak. I have taught at 10 different colleges and universities, and I have never seen another place where things are done as badly as they are at BCCC. I have never seen any other place that comes close.

I could be full of it, of course, but then BCCC is guilty of gross incompetence for hiring me back 14 separate times.

BCCC is the last best hope for thousands of inner-city residents who want to make something of their lives, yet it is held hostage by those who think it should serve as an expensive welfare program for the terminally unemployable. Every time they have a changing of the guard at BCCC, the new administrators swear that this time, by golly, they're going to start doing things the way we should have been doing them all along. And nothing ever changes. The students and the taxpayers are getting ripped off. The state needs to shut the place down and build a whole new college in its place.

Patrick D. Hahn

Jeffrey Anderson's article "Lessons in Frustration" left me feeling angry and incredulous. After working for nearly a decade in higher-education administration, I can safely say that there is nothing more important than getting people paid. BCCC's failure to deliver timely paychecks to teachers is nothing less than a sign of complete disrespect for the work being done. Furthermore, the fact that the adjunct (part-time) faculty are the ones being penalized adds insult to injury, as many of these people are cobbling together various part-time jobs to make ends meet. President Williams needs to take immediate action and fix this ridiculous situation. I wonder how she would feel if she hadn't been paid for over two months?

Amelia Baisley

Black Out

Now, Vincent Williams, I love your writing but you sounded sooooo naive about why this idiot thought it was OK to throw a light-skinned party (Social Studies, Oct. 31). Damn, Vince, have you turned on the TV or read magazines lately? Black women are wearing ridiculous wigs to look like white women! Every female singer has to be light-skinned, half-naked, and gyrating. I watched the movie Boomerang recently, and I missed the days when black women looked like black women--different shades, hairstyles, and clothes. The media has decided certain light-skinned black women are the mold, and everyone else has jumped on board. I canceled several magazine subscriptions because I was sick and tired of the lack of diversity, and these were BLACK magazines! The day Beyonc shows up on the cover of Black Enterprise is the day Earl Graves loses my support, and he knows black women have money to spend. Holla!

Sharon Wright

Not Third-Party Enough?

I couldn't believe that Maria Allwine, Green Party candidate for City Council president, really said, "We will get elected, no doubt about it" ("Where's the Party?," Feature, Oct. 24). Apparently, though, she was not referring to her candidacy, but to the likelihood of her party's candidates eventually being elected.

I have been an active supporter each time Ralph Nader has run for president and still have bumper stickers on my van endorsing the Green Party's candidate for U.S. Senate and governor from the last two elections. I even intend to vote for Maria Allwine in the general election for president of the City Council--I do not share her apparent delusion.

Why? Certainly not because I am impressed with the Greens' electoral campaign, but because any effort to challenge the two parties of capitalism deserves our votes. We, of course, don't have to be members of the Green Party to vote for its candidate.

Someday a genuine democratic coalition of the 95 percent concept will coalesce and struggle for power--and win. I just don't believe the Baltimore Green Party is as "open to diverse points of view" as party spokesperson Vince Tola claims. The most radical thing the Baltimore Greens ever accomplished was to force A. Robert Kaufman to resign--in utter disgust.

Nonetheless, I wish well to Ed Boyd.

A. Robert Kaufman

The writer ran for mayor as a Democrat in the 2007 primary election.

Correction: Last week's Feedback (Nov. 7) misreported the name of a song Caetano Veloso performed in his recent concert at the Lisner Auditorium. The song referred to as "I'm Alive" is actually titled "Nine Out of Ten."

Also, our Baltimore Weekly misreported details of the recent engagement of the film Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea at the Charles Theatre, namely that the directors would be in attendance (they aren't) and that it's free (which it isn't). We suspect some snafu with our online event self-publishing, but we regret the errors and any inconvenience caused, nonetheless.

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