It's registration time, and two days after it started, Required Course X is completely filled up for this summer and next fall. I've fielded my share of desperate emails this week and went to our departmental front office to see if there were any options. Nope--no options.
Students were coming through the doors as I waited, and the phone kept ringing. The message our administrative assistant gave was always the same:
"No, sorry, there aren't any more sections available."
"Sorry, but because of budget cuts, we only have so many instructors to teach that, and the sections are all full."
"I can put you on a waiting list for fall."
"Sorry, the sections are all full.
It's not the students' fault. I know that some of them have been trying to get this course for a while, and that others were ready to sign up but it was already closed when their registration time opened.
It's not my fault. I volunteered to teach the class this summer in part for the money, of course, but in part because it's something that students need to take. (Yes, this goes against the "put research first! Only teach your specialty!" ethos that we all get told, but I believe in this course and its benefits for students, so I'm teaching it anyway.)
In a way, it's not even the fault of the upper administrators, since after the state budget cuts, they may not have the money to pay for this, either.
It's a living example of Roxie's "Excellence Without Money" in action.