From the Past: 21 August 2014

In fall 2014 I began adjuncting after teaching high school for 17 years. I desperately needed a break. This series will examine my ramblings while I had my students write for a particular amount of time during the first year I taught composition. These will be curated.

* * * * *

It’s been an interesting 3 days. Surprisingly, I have really enjoyed all three days. I didn’t think that I would. It’s been a huge jump. I spent seventeen years working for the school board and felt like I was getting dumber and dumber each year. There were so many mandates, so many kids who needed help, so much to be done, and not enough hours in the day in which to do any of them.

Now, instead of working full time with benefits, I work at three different colleges, and I’m part time at all of them. I actually had to purchase my own insurance through healthcare.gov. Despite what I had heard, it wasn’t that difficult. Sure, there was a lot of information to complete, but that would be true for any place new that I had to work.

Not having an office has certainly been a bit difficult. I’ve had to turn my suitcase into a portable office. My back was so sore after teaching just one class on Tuesday that I had to do something for the two classes on Wednesday, especially since I was going to use public transportation. The bag is dang heavy. I had a hard time getting it on the bus. But I was able to get some exercise in and use the bus for free (yay! [name of college I was adjuncting at]). And then Lee met me at the wellness center, and we worked out (yes, I cheated….stretching only) and then WALKED home. I really thought he was going to drive, but he was afraid that he wouldn’t be able to find parking. Ergh!

Why is it so difficult to teach? It’s not the teaching itself. It’s more like the politics and bureaucracy that go along with it. It appears that there are fewer political forces at work at the college level, but that could be because I’m just an adjunct. I’m not at any one school long enough to hear what’s being talked about.

And now I have the issue of getting more education. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy being a student. I enjoy having my brain exercised. I enjoy reading new information and learning about new things, but I do need to get more education if I am going to continue teaching at the college level. I know that the best option is for me to continue what I started at [name of college for my graduate certificate] and finish the MA in rhetoric and composition. They’ll take 12 of my 18 hours, which is a good start on finishing the MA. Another school might not accept any of those hours. Then there’s the fact that I’m teaching freshman and sophomore composition. The degree in rhetoric and composition would be useful.

But what about getting a PhD? P- said that there would be the ability to have a diversified PhD within rhet/comp, but I’m not so sure. I just want to find a way to combine technology, writing, and reading in a way that is interesting to me, and I don’t yet know what that would be. I really did enjoy researching about grammar texts for my last class. But I don’t think I can do that type of research through USF, though teaching grammar might be more fun. Wow! I am such a nerd.

And now, at 554 words, I’m thinking that 750 words is a whole lot of words. Sweet Lord! What have I gotten these poor kids into. And then there are the ones who are having to handwrite their 750 words. I’m really glad that I’m not them.

My cat is dying. I don’t really want to write about that, but it went through my head, so I’m putting it down. [Jellical had hyperthyroidism that could not be treated with pills, and I was unwilling to spend $5,000 to have his thyroid irradiated. I put him down 15 February 2017, 2.5 years after this diagnosis.]

And I miss my husband. I don’t get to see him until after my 6:00 p.m. - 7:15 p.m. class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. That’s sad, especially since he goes to work before 7:00 a.m. each morning. This work time change is easier than I thought it would be. I like sleeping until 8 or 9 a.m. and not having to worry about how late I stay up, but it means that our schedules don’t coincide any more. And, I mean, I married the man, so that means I like so spend time with him, and now it seems like I have less time to spend with him. Sad face.

At least the kids laughed at my jokes. I have to stop calling them kids because they’re not kids. And that poor girl whom I thought was closer to my age. Open mouth and insert foot and kick myself all the way down the hall.

Why is there not a bathroom in this part of the building? That is the most important question.

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