I’m Back. Plus: Great Post-Academic Blogs

Hello World,

I wasn’t sure I would return to this blog. On account of my rage. That whole thing at the the MLA last year made me so angry that I decided that I am not even post-academic anymore. I am just post. I am out, gone, done. Buh-bye, academia! No need to keep talking about it and such.

I decided to post today, though, because I wanted to share a story that several of my fellow post-academic bloggers can relate to.

I got an email from Former College Where I Used to Adjunct. Basically, the email said: “We know you said you didn’t want to teach this fall, but we just thought we’d let you know that we happen to have this class available, and we know you’d be perfect for it! Are you sure you don’t want to come back and teach?”

See how these people operate? Do they think I am an idiot? Yes, they do.

Obviously, what really happened is that Former College needs a warm body in a classroom pronto. Someone quit or they forgot to staff this section or whatever. Doesn’t matter.

What matters is that they think I am going to fall for their little “we think you’d be great” sack of lies. Like they didn’t send the same email out to a dozen other losers just like me.

Here’s what I wanted to write back: Dear Former College of Lies and Even Bigger Lies: GO AWAY, okay? I do not like you anymore.

Of course, I replied with a very nice note that said, “Thanks for thinking of me, but I really need to move on with my, uh, career.” Because the person who wrote to me is just the messenger, after all.

That whole experience just reminded me of the last time I was on campus.

When I left Former College in the spring, they asked me to come in for an “Exit Interview.” I wasn’t even going to show up because WHY?

But then I thought, why don’t I just go to this thing, you know, for fun?

So I go sit in this faculty member’s office for about 15 minutes before she even shows up because obviously I am an adjunct so I have nothing better to do. Then, she asks me some questions and fills out paperwork without looking at me. I don’t even remember most of the questions because I wasn’t paying attention, honestly. But I do recall that she asked me, “Why are you leaving Former College?” I looked right at her. “I cannot make a living wage as an adjunct,” I said.

Did she say ANYTHING  to me in response? How about a friendly, “Oh, I know times are tough for part-timers.” Did she have any words of human kindness for me at all? Nope. She didn’t say a thing. I’m telling you this faculty person was completely silent, just filling out her paperwork like some kind of robot.

Finally, after shuffling some papers around, she announced:

“It looks like your teaching evaluations have all been very strong, so we’d like to encourage you to come back and teach for us again in the future.”

I was speechless. I felt that I was occupying some alternate realm where nothing makes sense and where people speak some weird alien language based on non sequiturs.

Jesus.

You know who does speak my language, though? These post-academic bloggers, that’s who.

Keep writing! You’re the only people making sense. Everyone else is crazy. (More on the crazy in my next post.)

For now, read on:

From Grad School to Happiness

Another Academic Bites the Dust

After Academe

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4 Responses to I’m Back. Plus: Great Post-Academic Blogs

  1. JC says:

    Hey, thanks for the mention! I’m glad to see you’re back and blogging – your attitude about the whole “leaving” thing really resonated with me when I made the decision to jump ship this winter. I’m excited to read about how you’re doing and what your thoughts are at this point in the process.

    And wow, do I hear you about the last minute job offers. I’ve written about a number of last-minute opportunities that have come across in the last few weeks over at my place. It’s laughably frustrating … “we hope you’re doing well! By the way, don’t you want to take this WONDERFUL opportunity to teach four classes in three weeks? Of course you do!”

    It feels so empowering to be able to tell them no.

    Glad you’re back!!

  2. recent Ph.D. says:

    Likewise, thanks for the mention!! And, likewise, keep it coming!

    Srsly, what are these people thinking? Come on back, ‘cuz you’re soooooooooooo good at teaching and you luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuv teaching soooo much that you’ll accept shit for pay just so you can get to do what you luuuuuuv?

    Yeah, bite me.

    What did you say when she tried to “encourage” you to come back? Nobody’s asked me recently about this fall. They did ask about my availability for fall about five weeks into last spring semester — that is, a whole six weeks after I’d quit a week before classes started. I was pretty adamant, which is why I think they haven’t bothered me, but my strategy (as I think I’ve commented over at JC’s), if I do get a call in the next few days, is to ask for more money: “Oh, you really need that class taught? Really?? ‘K, then how ’bout you pay me something proportionately closer to what you pay, um, say, the department secretary — the newest, lowest paid, least experienced department secretary. Oh, you wish you could but you don’t have the funds? Well, I’m sorry, but I can’t teach for you then.”

  3. thedustbiter says:

    Another thanks for the link! I’m looking forward to seeing your new posts, and exploring the old ones more thoroughly.

    This is such a frustrating scenario. Especially when I think about how it utterly fails to serve students and value education over consumption. Unfortunately, given the way things are structured, I’m sure one of those other dozen email recipients was thrilled to get that email and get a teaching gig. To me, adjuncting makes sense as it was intended – a part term, temporary gig (though I also think that that, and all jobs, should come with a living wage and benefits). But the way that it’s the default now is unbelievably saddening for what it does to academics and academia, and for what it says about what is happening to education in general.

  4. Pingback: Don’t Give Up! It’s Not All Bleak! You Have So Much to Offer! | A Post-Academic in NYC

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