No More Pencils No More Books, No More Teachers' Dirty Looks -- The State Is Broke and Colleges are Closed

Categories: Recession Watch
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Sad -- but not as sad as real life
Those of us who grew up in Northern California never experienced the joy of a school "Snow Day" in which reading, writing, and arithmetic are abandoned in favor of the ecstasy of winter frolicking. Growing up here, I vividly recall the time I witnessed ice on the sidewalk near a drainage pipe while walking to junior high school in 1988. You should have seen it. It was frozen solid.


Like justice, however, joy delayed is joy denied. While a great many San Francisco State students who also never benefited from snow days will probably enjoy their pending six-day weekend, the knowledge that this is happening because the state is too goddamn broke to keep the school open on Sept. 4 and Sept. 8 really does slip the turd into the punchbowl.

As we reported last month, SFSU capped a year of conditions more befitting a university in which classes are occasionally disrupted by bouts of rocket attacks by posting an official "furlough calendar." The school has posted an update on its Web site; reading it feels like being privy to someone else's heart-breaking how-to manual. 

For example, the updated Web article includes templates for suggested staff or faculty e-mails announcing the pending closures or the scripts for answering machine messages. For example:

"Reduced funding from the California legislature and governor has necessitated a furlough program (time and pay cut) for San Francisco State University. As a result, the University will be closed [insert dates, ex.: Sept. 4 and 8 ]. The [fill in name of office] will reopen on [insert date, ex.: Wednesday, Sept. 9 at [insert time]."

There's even a suggestion as to how to phrase a message instructors could leave on their door. Apparently "Gone Fishin'!" won't cut it.




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