Friday, September 18, 2015

Was She Fired or Did She Quit?

There have been a number of news stories this past year about people being fired from their employment positions. In several instances, these individuals insisted that they were not fired, that they resigned. There is shame in being fired, and in most cases the individual is allowed to resign, as though it is a final act of kindness. My situation at Calvin Seminary was the opposite. When I went public with My Calvin Seminary Story nine years ago about my being fired, the Seminary might have responded that I deserved what I got (as they had been saying privately all along in regard to the first terminal appointment I had been given and the second as well). Instead, they stated publicly that I'd quit. True I did not apply for the position from which I had been terminated. Anyone could apply for it. I could apply for it today if I wanted to; no one could stop me. The fact is I was terminated from my teaching position at Calvin Seminary, though fired is the term I prefer. It expresses the force and meanness that I felt then and feel now. The massive cover-up of this ordeal went under the claim of confidentiality.

The other night I dreamed that I had encountered the VP of Academic Affairs and I challenged him about why he fired me. The day before I had quoted to John some of Edgar Allen Poe's poetry. With the alignment of those two phenomena I decided to write a poem. So here's a nod to Poe and to the Seminary:

Once upon a midnight tired
as I pondered being fired
after six years lately hired
as a seminary prof.

Nodding napping in my prison
suddenly there came a vision
quoth the raven with decision
to go public with a blog.

“Calvin Seminary Story”
named by raven black and hoary
said I surely wouldn’t be sorry
for exposure of this sin.

So I set about to tell all
what they charged was confidential
proved with documents official
claims deceitful and unjust.

Now immune from seminary
no more hounded weak and weary
no more midnights dark and dreary
thanks to raven evermore.