Monday, August 25, 2008

Welcome to adjunct land

(Note to those familiar with my trials and tribulations over the past three months in securing gainful employment: I finally have a job.  It's a part-time job, so I'm still looking for more work, but what matters is that I will soon be drawing an actual paycheck.  Hallelujah!)

After a break of not quite thirteen months, I'm back in the teaching game again.  This time, however, I'm not a TA.  I'm an adjunct instructor at a community college.  New campus, new departmental policies, new textbook... many things are new in my first (non-babysitting) post-grad school job, even though I'm teaching Spanish once again.  I think I will really like working for this employer.  Sure, I'd love it if I were paid more or if the CC were to compensate me for the gas expended in my commute, but one can't have everything in life, and adjuncting pays significantly better than working in retail or at a restaurant.  Plus, I'm actually using (some) knowledge accrued during my years toiling in graduate school, and I do get a few extra dollars and cents per hour because I possess a Master's degree.  

Among the positives at my new job, I will be teaching in much nicer facilities than I did at the university.  One of my classrooms is an amazing "smart" classroom and is superior to any similarly sized classroom I ever taught in or even saw at the aforementioned R1 university.  Also, my superiors are letting me use the copy machine as much as I like.  Why is this so wonderful, you ask?  Well, it's great because they're not restricting me to the laughable two one-sided copies or one two-sided copy per student per week that I was granted during my TA days.  Of course, there is so much actually useful online content for my textbook that I won't feel that I need to make very many copies in order to have a greater variety of interesting activities to do in class.  Additionally, I'm going to have a lot more freedom and flexibility than I ever had as a TA.  This is the first time I've had almost total control over a syllabus, for example, and I am enjoying this power thoroughly.  Speaking of which, as I wrote mine, I found Kait's advice on the art of writing syllabi very helpful.  Thanks, Kait!  

On the subject of my search for one or two other part-time jobs, I'm trying to convince the public library system that they need to hire this particular multilingual bibliophile as a clerk or something to that effect.

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