Just do your darned job already.
In January of 2011, I began working as an adjunct at a community college. I have taught anatomy and physiology, general biology, and tutored students in physics, chemistry, and biology. As an instructor, it is my responsibility to teach my students and deliver the material in a way that facilitates their understanding. There have been nights that I’ve stayed late to ensure my students understood the material, mornings I’ve come in early to work around my students’ schedules, and I’ve gone three days on a few hours of sleep just to get grades in on time. By the way, adjuncts do not get overtime.
Adjuncts also do not get benefits. Nevertheless, this was part of the job and my boss made sure I was aware of the drawbacks going in. So, I purchased insurance out-of-pocket. This is something I have done since my parents insurance dropped me at the age of twenty-three when I graduated from college. I am still in search of the privilege offered in a full-time job with my B.S. degree and now fifty-two hours worth of graduate level training in the hard sciences. Even so, I am still responsible for maintaining my premium no matter the cost (even when I went broke after our state could not pay us last summer).
Yet, this is not about my experience as an adjunct, my lack of benefits, or health care reform. This is about responsibility.
It is my responsibility to pay for my coverage. I keep this responsibility due to the health care costs I will incur should I let my coverage expire. I simply cannot afford the effects of going without even basic insurance coverage, even if I am only twenty-nine years old. Unfortunately, I really understood this when my parents rushed me to the emergency room a few weeks ago with stroke symptoms. The bills that have come as a result nearly sent me there again. I have health insurance and still owe a substantial amount of money for something which I don’t even remember all the details. Here again, I am responsible for paying my bills.
Why has responsibility become something that is debatable? Bills must be paid and paychecks must be given for work that must be done. If I do not pay a bill, I will either have service interrupted, something will be repossessed, and possibly a third-party will intervene. This is what Sponge Bob’s grandmother meant when she told him going to work late would not be the adult thing to do. You are an adult. And adults must meet their responsibilities. However, what I have witnessed from my beloved country is exactly the opposite of what responsible adults in positions of leadership must do. We watched as you, the leaders, slaughtered the basic fundamentals of a fully functional government, only to sacrifice principles on the altar of selfish pride and obscene political theatre. Well, since I see that you missed this when you left your home states, you all represent ONE nation, indivisible—not your parties, divided to conquer.
At some point, you will answer to the people who live in this nation. I know that many of you say you understand us, but let me remind you of the real people who you all represent on Capital Hill:
My uncle, who lives in a personal care home because he cannot stay on his own, and my grandmother who has lost the ability to care for him;
My cousins and two dear friends, who have devoted their lives to defend our great nation from harm;
My two sisters and I, who without federal student aide, would not have gone to college (and finished with honors);
And my parents, who both work for our state government.
We don’t care for your reasons of not working together. We don’t want to hear the excuse you will give us in the next few hours for the crude word vomit you threw around in your respective chambers. We don’t want to hear the reasons you don’t agree with a bill, a law, or even parts of a law. What we want, we may not even get until you decide to finally do the job for which you were elected…I mean hired. We want you, the should-be responsible leaders, to get your respective acts together and leave the extreme sides of the aisle. What we actually get are Sith Lords that hide in the shadows of political buffoonery. You seem to think that sound-bite issues and hate-filled speeches equate to actual legislation. As Yoda would say, “Forgotten your purpose, you have.”
Many of us may remember that Article I, section 1 of the Constitution states that legislative power is “vested” in Congress. Vested. Trusted and secured. Hmm, do you think you’ve understood and remembered that in the last three years? Well, there is something else, my dear leaders of this nation, that you have forgotten; Generation Y is coming of Article I age. When we read that we are members chosen […] by the people, and elected by the people, we will take our respective offices with the humility that we are servants to this nation, not to portions of our political parties. In other words, we can now run against you. So, just as you tell us when you do not offer benefits for our part-time jobs that have full-time hours: Do the job or get replaced. It is your responsibility and we the people have grown tired of your long, non-working lunches.
We, the (younger) People