I need Cerberus, the three-headed dog who in Greek and Roman mythology, guarded the Gates of the Underworld, to prevent those who had crossed the river Styx from ever escaping. However, I will settle for Fido, to the left.
I believe I need a little help so I can forget a better world. I remember my blue house, my office, my classroom, my students, my artist friends…
I cannot understand why I was overworked out of my position as university professor. I cannot understand why I was not replaced when I started feeling too tired to work.
Nor can I understand why an Insurance Company employee did not tell me that my application for permanent disability had not been approved. She sent me to a doctor who reported that I needed to rest for an undetermined period of time, but asked her to tell me not to leave my little town, as I would recover and was too sick to make a serious decision.
Some individuals recover from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but others do not, at least not fully, which is my case. But I had learned to live quite normally despite Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, now called myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). I had a very limited social life and went to bed early.
The Chair of my department should have been a little protective of me. I was already working very hard and I was always ready to help my colleagues. I was a good and particularly knowledgeable teacher, productive, resourceful and disciplined.
Had I been allowed to leave the classroom when I presented a doctor’s note, I may have recovered rather quickly. However, the Chair of my department told me he could not take my doctor’s note seriously.
As well, had I stopped working at the time I presented my doctor’s note, my “case manager” at the Insurance Company, might not have taken me for an imaginary invalid and punished me by letting me move, which was a mistake.
The Chair of my department reported to the administration and others that I had disrupted members of my department to a great extent. That was a lie. He, the Chair, had helped me for about two weeks, on the condition that I finish my teaching assignment and prepare and grade my final examinations, which I did. They would not replace me because I “could still walk.”
My workload was quite onerous: French classical literature; French-Canadian/Quebec literature; language courses (French as a second language); the creation of language lab components, etc.
Moreover, I was writing articles, etc. But suddenly, during a sabbatical I was devoting to writing a book on Molière, he, the Chair of my department, asked me to prepare and teach a course on Animals in Literature.
I would have refused, but I was afraid of him. He had got very angry at me in the past, so angry that once I fainted. I could not say ‘no.’ Not at that point in time.
I have to tell you
I am telling you, because I have to tell you. ME affects my blogging. I skip or repeat words and I write ‘and’ when I mean ‘an,’ or ‘has’ when I mean ‘as.’ It’s a comedy.
But I enjoy blogging. It allows me to use some of the knowledge I acquired to earn a PhD and worked as a university teacher. In fact, I have been President of the Canadian Association of University and College Teachers of French, etc. I was also a member of the Board of Directors and the Executive of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities (now Humanities and Social Sciences). I have lectured abroad…
I loved my little house, I loved my work, but a member of the administration had told a few years earlier that persons who suffered from a chronic illness were not good candidates for the classroom and that he was anxious to … Yet I could work under normal circumstances. I was once bullied into an episode of ME by colleagues who then put obstacles in my way so I would not return to teaching.
One cannot “get rid of” (quotation) a …
No, one cannot “get rid of” a teacher on the basis of a disability, but it happens. I know it happens because it happened to me. It was done in a subtle manner. I cannot tell for sure whether or not the Chair of my department acted deliberatly. But whatever his intentions, he worked me out of my position and then failed to tell the truth.
It has been ten years. No, I was not compensated yet I need to buy a little house because the soundproofing in my building is inadequate. I am a pianist. Selling the apartment will not buy me a little house. There are problems with the building.
* * *
Yes, I sometimes forget the spelling of a word. And there are times, rare times, when I cannot concentrate on my work. I hope you will understand.
But I am old news, so let us return to today’s news. There will be an election in September.
I should tell you that I am very proud of my WordPress community. You are dear to me.English The Montreal Gazette: http://www.montrealgazette.com/index.html The National Post: http://www.nationalpost.com/index.html The Globe and Mail: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/ The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/ CBC News: http://www.cbc.ca/news/ CTV News: http://montreal.ctv.ca/ French Le Monde: http://www.lemonde.fr/ Le Devoir: http://www.ledevoir.com/ La Presse: http://www.lapresse.ca/ German Die Welt: http://www.welt.de/ Micheline Walker© June 16, 2012 WordPress