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.
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: