Thursday, September 29, 2011

Taking a Stand

Sometimes, we are called to do things for our class that I don't agree with. Nobody asks my opinion, and so I attempt to do what is required despite my own feelings. One of the things that sticks in my craw is that we have been called to go to our professional website and take legislative action on two controversies, as well as write a letter to one of our elected officials advocating for our profession. We must bring the letter in to be graded, along with an addressed envelope so that when they are finished with it, it can be sent off to the elected official.

Now, I have some pretty strong political feelings, and one of them is that my politics are my own business. The idea of being graded on my opinion (in effect) rankled me. Lets be real here. If I sent in a letter that adopted a stance they felt was not helpful to the profession of Occupational Therapy, I would not get a good grade. To be sure, they are not merely checking the letter for spelling errors and to insure that I knew how to write a business letter.

Having us compose the letter was bad enough, but sending the letter off, whether I want it sent off or not, irks me. But a grade is a grade. I dutifully went off to the website and I took action on two things via e-mail. I wrote my letter, which was easier that I expected, once I discovered that I did feel strongly about arbitrary caps to medicare outpatient treatment, and Lord knows, that is something that would affect the profession, but still, being forced to get politically involved because your teacher has assigned still rankles me to no end.

So tell me: Is this one of those mountain out of a molehill things?


WhiteStone said...

"Oi" is right!
I don't see how they can legally require you to write a letter advocating ANYthing!!
I guess I would question this (but that's just me) and if I had to do so, to take it to a higher-up.

Mrs. Spit said...

Umm, no.

It's one thing to talk about political action and how to do it. It's another thing to force compliance.

No, I would object at the end of the course.

A Novel Woman said...

I agree with you. It's not a molehill. It would irk me too.

Kelly said...

That would bother me, too. I love this line:

"Now, I have some pretty strong political feelings, and one of them is that my politics are my own business."

WhiteStone said...

Requiring you to write the letter is one thing. Requiring you to mail it is quite another. It's called coercion with your grade being the whip.

Pencil Writer said...

It kind of strikes at the heart of so many issues. Too many people seem to think your rights aren't actually your rights any more. I'll stop there or I'll probably stick my foot in my mouth, or where . . . well. I'll just stop here. I don't like that situation, either. Like we teach our children "Choose The Right". Keep your integrity.

Jayne said...

That is so wrong on a whole lot of levels - if pollies knows students are coerced into writing them it gives them leeway to ignore those and future letters.
Politics are a personal business - the reason the secret ballot was invented was to secure an individuals' privacy when voicing their opinion via their vote, forcing someone to take a stand like that violates your privacy and rights.

jeanie said...

Yet - I get a rankle on your behalf.

Although if it were as big as you would not have a whole industry without a little action, they do not have the right.

Cara said...

I had to write an essay advocated the benefits of having a Pop Culture class at school. It was not on the syllabus, but was added in at the end. After writing it I was informed that the best essays were going to be shown to the board who was questioning the validity of such a class (as if we had written them of our own volition). It was a silly class, a big waste of my time, and not something that should be offered, so I went to the board and had a chat. I don't think they'll be wasting my time and abusing my school papers again in the future.

quid said...

It's easier, once you are working in your profession, to ignore these calls to action that your profession may believe it, but you don't. Routinely, in Human Resources, I am called to advocate against unions by writing to Congress (as if they are listening to their constituents!). But the union was an important element in my dad's worklife, and I can't just be black and white over what they do.

You will earn your individuality back when you practice. In the meantime, I hate it, but, it is go along to get along.


Lori said...

Not at all! I would be sizzling mad if I had to do that for a grade. It makes me mad just thinking about it now.