Posts Tagged ‘college’

As a former adjunct…

May 3, 2014

This article from The Atlantic has been sitting in my browser for a couple of days now. The short of it is that adjuncts are becoming a larger fact of universities, that the quality of education is slipping as the quality of the work environment slips, and that adjuncts are trying to organize in some way to fight for better pay, benefits, etc. Which is noble. I’ve been through the grinder of accumulating degrees, looking for work, teaching classes the majority of students give two shits about, and repeating this for semesters on end. It sucks. I think it also gives me a bit of a box from which to stand and speak. I think it is very noble of adjuncts to fight for a better work environment. They’ve trained to be good at something they (hopefully) enjoy. Having said that, they should just quit. Find something else they enjoy. Something else that pays better and better appreciates your work. I say this in the midst of a similar change. While I was forced to step out of teaching for a bit due to family concerns and getting my schedule to work with the wife, the kid, and the kid on the way, I’ve found that while I miss a paycheck, I don’t miss the job. I don’t miss the bad hours, I don’t miss bringing the majority of my work home with me, I don’t miss any of it.

My advice to students who have yet to graduate from anything is to not look into being a professor. If you can eventually find your way into a tenure track gig, and actually have the university live up to its promise and award you tenure, it can be great. It can also (still) pay poorly. You can be part of an institution that doesn’t care about your field. Where I went to grad school was in the midst of a merger with a local hospital and there was changes afoot with the administration. The end result being some folks in charge who saw the humanities as a whole as just needless blather, but was kept around because composition was needed.  If you were involved in anything other than the hard sciences you were chopped liver. It’s something to consider as the costs of going to college isn’t getting any cheaper and it seems one of the ways universities have looked to cut costs is to streamline the whole schooling process a bit so students only need to take what they “need,” which means a lot of them probably won’t bother with unnecessary fluff like literature, art, history, philosophy, or foreign languages. And as fewer students take those courses, there will be less need for those faculty and funding will dry up.  Awesome sauce, no? Think they will be next on the list of “To Be Replaced With Adjuncts?” I think so.

So. Don’t get into the mess. Quit doing it. Try to land a full time gig at McDonald’s and the pay will be relatively similar and the hours will be set, you won’t have to drive around to three or four different facilities, and it’s less stressful. Fight back? Leave them with no one to treat poorly, no one to teach their courses, until they want to come to their senses and treat us well.   Maybe then we’ll come back. Maybe. Depends if Mickey D’s gives me free lunches, cause that’s at least $5 a day I don’t have to spend.

a collection of thoughts and musings

May 23, 2009

I read today where more colleges in the US are looking at establishing three year BA programs. I like the idea and wish it had been around when I started college far too many years ago and, at the same time, I know there re professors in various humanities divisions howling over this and how we’re producing workers rather than people. Which I think is awfully insulting to the people but whatever. Where a few of these possible programs fail, though, are where a few mentioned the necessity of taking summer classes to finish in three years. Well, no shit. I’m betting you could finish most 4 year degrees early if you took summer classes as well as the traditional fall/winter.  But I’m all for shorter time frames for degrees.

Speaking of degrees and colleges and the cost inherent with attending them, I am wondering where my bailout will be.  Credit card companies were “taking advantage”of people being reckless with their cards. Fine. Help’em out, pass some legislation, keep people from being raped by credit card companies (and more about this in a bit). But what about everyone who has gone to college in the past 20 years and been hit with tuition payments increasing at far greater rates than inflation? I think it would be just as fair to say that people are being taken advantage of by the education system within the framework of a society where the value of a college degree is arguably vastly overstated. So a bunch of us take out crazy amounts in loans to get these degrees because we’re told we will need them and the colleges/universities take our money and keep charging us more…well, where’s our legislation to get this crap in order? If we’re going to start righting wrongs here, what about us who tried to better ourselves and got raped by loan companies/colleges? Even if I don’t get any help, at least cap tuition hikes or something. This shit is insane.

And back on the credit card front, fine, pass this legislation, whatever. But don’t turn around and fuck over those of us who do play by the rules. Since the CC companies can’t royally screw over people who don’t pay on time or at all, the talk is that they are just going to screw all of us with rate hikes and annual fees. I make sure to always pay something on my credit card bill. I make sure I am never late. I don’t need to get screwed because Joe Fuck Up wrote enough letters to his vote whore representatives. 

This pisses me off because I accept that there are some things I just don’t have right now and am unlikely to have in the near future. Things like health insurance.  But instead of finding a way for someone like me to feel okay going to a doctor without worrying about going into even MORE debt that I can’t handle, they pass this crap that will likely just fuck me. thanks. Thanks a lot.

The only thing that consistently brings a smile to my day are women. I bitch about my g/f a lot but I love women. Whether it’s just a cheap look, a quick flirtation, a good laugh or a few moments talking about the misery of existence,women consistently make my day worth living. Granted, most of the time it falls into the cheap look category but still, it’s something.  The damndest thing is that it’s not even a consistently sexual thing any more, not like it used to be when I was a bit younger. Now I’m just as likely to just be amazed by some woman’s youth and strength and beauty and can’t imagine her being in my filthy mits at all.

and, in all honesty, I probably wouldn’t know what to do if given the opportunity with the majority of these women who melt me from afar. It’s better to just look and think about it. From a distance they can remain gods. up close they would be just like everybody else.

onward and upward.