WMU and most Michigan schools start classes tomorrow -- it's Labor Day. The year I worked at Hope College, a private Christian college, we were surprised that classes were held on Labor Day. We had West Michigan Whitecaps tickets -- Mrs. Dr. Phil went to the baseball game by herself. I think it had something to do with not supporting communism.
This past year I've been a member of a union -- the part-time instructors at WMU managed to organize and get a contract with very little trouble. We weren't expecting big changes, but for senior instructors like myself -- I've spent most of the last twenty years at WMU -- a few things have gotten easier. Hell, I don't have to stand in line with students and get a new temporary parking pass every semester, I have an annual hang tag now.
But there was a time when unions were a dangerous thing to start and work conditions and pay were brutal. 2012 isn't 1912 or even 1812. We have a good life or at least a potential for a good life.
My good friend Jim Wright has posted a thoughtful discussion on whether we're better off now than we were a hundred years ago. Jim doesn't pull punches.
We had a pleasant day -- recovering from WorldCon -- if you had a pleasant day, too, well done. There's a lot to be thankful for on Labor Day.