I'm in a ripe, foul mood this morning. Last week, I got a package of form letters from the ex-college's human resource department telling me to hand back my parking pass and my school ID or else no last paycheck. What? I think I still have the IDs from the last two places that I worked. It was like they caught me dipping into petty cash drawer or something. Whatever. Here take the stupid thing.
Another form letter informed me that my e-mail address would be terminated immediately. What? My old e-mail addresses from other schools probably still work. Pissing me off is about the only thing that this school bureaucracy efficiently accomplished. Good show.
But more seriously, since they cut off my e-mail account that means I don't have access to the academic databases at the school library. I can't read the scholarly articles that I need for my writing projects. Ugh. I've just been poking around to see which journals I can access through my APSA membership. To get the rest, I'll have to use my dad's account from his ex-school. Annoying.
The academic journals are only available through university library systems, which you can only access when you're an employee or a student. The journal companies charge exorbitant subscription fees, and no public library has the funds to access them. They charge $15-$25 to download individual articles, which really adds up when you typically look at 50 articles at a time.
The impact of this system is that only employed academics can look at scholarly articles. Journalists, writers, and independent scholars aren't going to leisurely skim through the table of contents of APSR and pick out a couple of things to read. Academics complain that mainstream writers are too dim to read their stuff. Or maybe they just don't have access to it.
This indignity comes on the heels of a frustrating conversation with a neighbor yesterday. I tried to explain that I was working all summer on a paper, but not getting paid for it. She could not get her head around that one. Then I made the mistake of telling her that I was spending a $1,000 of my own money to attend a conference and present the paper that I had been working on for free all summer. She suspects drug use.