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00:00:00 - Start of Interview/Interview's Introduction

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Segment Synopsis: Megan Falater: Why graduate school? Esselman (BE) describes his background and his decision to enroll in graduate school. He completed his undergraduate and graduate education at UW-Madison. He grew up in West Bend, Wisconsin.

Keywords: Brian Esselman; UW-Madison; West Bend, Wisconsin; education backbround; graduate school

00:04:05 - Dicision of Studying Chemistry

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Segment Synopsis: Question: Why Department of Chemistry?BE decided that he wished to study chemistry and science from the eighth grade.

Keywords: chemistry and science; eighth grade

00:05:16 - Research Interest in Chemistry

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Segment Synopsis: Question: What's your research interest in chemistry? BE describes his interest in chemistry. He completed his Ph.D. in organic chemistry, though he focuses on computational and astrochemical rather than lab work.

Keywords: Ph.D degree; chemistry; computatioal and astrochemical research; lab work; organic chemistry; research interest

00:09:19 - Describing His Thesis

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Segment Synopsis: Question: What was the dissertation about? BE defended his dissertation in August 2012 and is currently working at UW-Madison as lecturer and assistant organic lab director. He describes his thesis.

Keywords: assistant organic lab director; dissertation defending; lecturer; thesis

00:14:15 - Participating in Developing a Curriculum with the Organic Lab Director

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Segment Synopsis: BE describes the connections between his last chapter and his work with the organic lab director to develop a curriculum incorporating molecular modeling into the organic experimental undergraduate course. As a graduate student, BE studied with Bob McMahon and Claude Woods.

Keywords: Bob McMahon; Claude Woods; molecular modeling; organic experimental course; the organic lab director; undergraduate course

00:16:20 - Participated in the 2011 Capitol Protests

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Segment Synopsis: Question: Talk about the 2011 protests? BE was a member of the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC). He considers 2011 protests to be the first time that he participated in a prolonged protest.

Keywords: 2011 Capital Protests; Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC); a prolonged protest

00:17:59 - TAA Experience

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Segment Synopsis: Question: Early experience with TAA? BE completed his TAA membership card during a presentation the TAA held during his graduate TA training and orientation meeting. He prefers not to join organizations.

Keywords: TAA membership; graduate TA training; organizations; orientation meeting

00:18:58 - First Engagement in the 2011 Capitol Protests

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Segment Synopsis: Question: More involved in the TAA? BE considers himself recruited into the TAA by Governor Scott Walker. He went to the Capitol during the second or third day of the protests with other people from his department because he was concerned about what was happening. After arriving at the Capitol, he discovered that other members of the TAA were also at the Capitol and connected with them there. He assisted in trash duty.

Keywords: Department of Chemistry; Scott Walker; TAA members; governor; the Capitol; trash duty

00:20:43 - Start to Focus on the Budget Repair Bill and the Protests

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Segment Synopsis: Question: First learning about the Budget Repair bill or the protests? BE learned about the Budget Repair Bill through local news. He follows the Capitol Times. He might also have learned about the pending legislation from FaceBook. BE brought most of his friends and family, including his lab mates, to the Capitol over the course of the protests. He noticed many chemists, including professors and graduate students, at the Capitol, though many of them were not associated with the TAA.

Keywords: Facebook; TAA; chemists; graduate students; lab mates; professors; the Budget Repair Bill; the Capitol Times; the pending legislation

00:21:25 - Attending the Protests with Brent Amberger

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Segment Synopsis: Question: Attend the protests with lab mates? BE’s lab mate Brent Amberger attended the protests with him. Many people at the protests wanted to take pictures of their protest signs. Photos of Amberger and BE were published online. The photo of BE appeared on Amberger and BE both were interviewed by Chemical and Engineering News. In response to Governor Walker’s statement that he would call in the National Guard if prison guards went on strike, BE and Amberger prepared a sign that read, “Can the National Guard Teach Organic Chemistry?”

Keywords: Brent Amberger;; Chemical and Engineering News; Governor Walker; National Guard; interviewed; lab mate; organic chemistry; prison guards; protest signs; strike

00:25:00 - Feeling of Working with TAA's GMMs

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Segment Synopsis: Question: How is it like to work with GMMs? BE comments on the culture of communication at the TAA’s GMMs and “democracy discourse events.” He notices that he and the other chemists found this culture unfamiliar. BE’s colleagues within the Department of Chemistry do not use Robert’s Rules of Order or participate in in-depth discussions; they instead focus on action items and brevity.

Keywords: Department of Chemistry; Robert's Rules of Order; action items; brevity; democracy discourse events; in-depth discussions

00:26:02 - First Time Attending GMM

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Segment Synopsis: BE recalls the protests at the Capitol as a fluid and chaotic time. He developed relationships with other protestors. He received emails from the TAA about General Membership Meetings (GMM), teach-outs, and other TAA actions. He attended his first GMM during the protests, and brought others from his department with him. He enjoyed clear-cut tasks; he collected trash and marshaled a march. He appreciated that trash duty was important for public relations.

Keywords: General Membership Meetings(GMM); TAA actions; at the Capitol; clear-cut tasks; collect trash; emails; fluid and chaotic; marshal a march; other protectors; public relations; teach-outs; the TAA; trash duty

00:30:29 - Attending the Stewards' Council

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Segment Synopsis: Question: What other meetings did BE attend?After the protests, BE attended many of the TAA GMMs, and also began attending the Stewards’ Council. He became a representative for the TAA for the HR Re-Design process. He considers himself an outsider and found his participation as a representative of the TAA to be awkward. He tabled for recall signatures.

Keywords: HR Re-Design process; after the protests; aukward; outsider; representative; signatures; the Stewards' Council

00:32:53 - BE taught students chemistry during the protests

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Segment Synopsis: How did BE follow news related to the protests or the bill? BE did not participate in the teach-out, which he found comical and stupid. The organizers of the teach-out did not consider the teaching needs of TAs in the sciences. During the Spring 2011 semester, BE was a lab TA funded by the Madison Initiative for Undergraduates, which provided the Department of Chemistry with money for additional TAs for courses in which students traditional struggle and money to improve and redesign curricula. During the protests, BE taught students how to use molecular modeling in chemistry. In the course of one week during this semester, BE gave more than ten lectures on this topic. Participating in the teach-out would have derailed the entire laboratory semester. BE was the only TA with experience teaching this course. He included an extra slide in his PowerPoint that explained that he supported the teach-out despite his presence in the classroom.

Keywords: Department of Chemistry; comical and stupid; improve and redesign curricula; lab TA; molecular modeling; spring 2011; teach-out; the Madison Initiative for Undergraduates; traditional struggle

00:36:17 - BE followed news of the Budget Repair Bill

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Segment Synopsis: BE followed news of the Budget Repair Bill and protests when he was not at the Capitol building, both on the internet and through the nightly news. He usually spent time at the Capitol in the morning, at mid-day, and at night.

Keywords: at mid-day; at night; in the morning; nightly news; on the internet; the Budget Repair Bill; the Capitol

00:38:09 - Accurate and Inaccurate Description about the Protests

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Segment Synopsis: Question: What accurate and inaccurate description about the protests? BE recalls favorable representations of the protests from Ed Schultz and Rachel Maddow. BE was aired on Rachel Maddow when he stood behind Tammy Baldwin as she gave an interview. BE also followed Fox News’s website, and read descriptions of events at the Capitol that he did not witness, including the destruction of the Capitol and riots. BE’s mother was concerned that he would be arrested and killed at a riot. BE found the tenor of the protests at the Capitol to be more peaceful than a farmers’ market. BE explains, “All of the news sources had trouble distilling why the protest were happening into good news sound bites.” News cycles first paid attention to budget cuts and misunderstood protestors’ concerns about collective bargaining rights. BE believes that these issues later did receive attention.

Keywords: Ed Schultz; Fox News; Rachel Maddow; Tammy Baldwin; arrested; budget cuts; collective bargaining rights; favorable representations; interview; misunderstand protestors; riots; the Capitol

00:42:29 - BE and o\Other TAs Cover Each Other to Attend the Protests

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Segment Synopsis: Question: Was it initial to spend time on the protest? BE struggled to budget his time during the protests. The lab directors worried that all the lab TAs would disappear, which would prevent students from learning. Lab TAs informally arranged to cover one another so that they could attend the protests. Some lab directors also covered sections. He later worked on the HR Re-Design while writing his thesis. BE recalls that he became ill as the protests began to wind down, which was likely a result of the responsibilities he attempted to meet during the protests.

Keywords: HR Re-Design; become ill; cover one another; disappear; lab TAs; lab directors; thesis; wind down

00:47:10 - Memories of the Protests at the Capitol

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Segment Synopsis: Question: Other memories at the Capitol? BE reflects on his memories of the protests at the Capitol, including the massive number of people there and the range of groups they represented. He had never before been among so many people who were all focused on a single issue. He was struck by the peaceful and cordial atmosphere of the protests.

Keywords: at the Capitol; massive number of people; memories; peaceful and cordial atmosphere; range of groups; the protests

00:49:40 - Future Academic Plan

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Segment Synopsis: Question: Future academic plan? BE’s future academic plans will probably include UW-Madison. He has enjoyed lecturing and teaching.

Keywords: UW-Madison; academic plan; lecturing and teaching

00:51:20 - Stopped going to GMMs

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Segment Synopsis: Question: Plans with TAA? BE quit going to GMMs as a graduate student. He found the environment too stressful and acrimonious, despite the good intentions of TAA members. After one GMM meeting, BE sent to the TAA what Claiborne Hill described as a “Dear John” letter. BE pledged to remain a member and continue with the Stewards’ Council, but would never attend another GMM. BE believes that the activist core of the TAA needs to determine how to appeal to graduate students broadly, including those who have never attended a meeting. BE felt frustrated by the TAA’s lack of concern for its local image. BE continues to pay dues to the TAA.

Keywords: "Dear John" letter; Claiborne Hill; GMMs; good intentions; graduate student; lack of concern; local image; pay dues; stressful and acrimonious; the Stewards' Council; the TAA

00:57:57 - Communicating with Others about the TAA's Direction

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Segment Synopsis: BE voiced his concerns about the TAA’s direction and culture to several people in the organization, including Claiborne Hill and five or six other people. He was later contacted by like-minded members of the TAA who wanted to have a dialogue about how the TAA was talking. BE recalls some conversations that took place in late spring or early summer 2012 regarding how to manage the diversity of ideologies and perspectives within the TAA.

Keywords: 2012; Claiborne Hill; diversity of ideologies and perspectives; early summer; late spring; the TAA; the TAA's direction and culture