It was different for me, that morning after they let me go but it wasn’t. There was just something new, something renewed, to me, in me, and it would show through my teaching I told myself. Driving to campus the mist stuck to the car like students adhered to their barely-researched convictions, and clung to the windows and shell like full-timers hugged their office chairs and sections they’d never let go. I’d always wanted to teach a Creative Writing section, or essay writing, or a Literature section on Kerouac or Hemingway of Plath, or even Joyce. But no. They wouldn’t let that happen. And that morning I realized I didn’t need to wait for them any longer. I had more time now, I had more space and I had time to think. So when I parked, walked up the stairs with creaky knees from the half-marathon distance from before-day, I thought of how to approach today’s 1A meeting, and my new career, and plight as Adjunct… And it’d be “organic” I thought. And slow. Taking my time, I thought. I felt that morning like the world opened its diary, its neverevershown pages, it was only showing it, its book, to me and that it had a plan and a gift for me, now: that I could finally do what I wanted to do. As adjuncts, and me as an adjunct I always had to have that benefit-job, the responsible move so I’d have healthcare, we all need healthcare I know. But now, I was without the worry, and healthcare I’d get through COBRA, eventually, and now, now, NOW.. I see only teaching, only the career I’ve always wanted, going back to school and getting a PhD, becoming an actual ‘scholar’ to use Emerson’s term. I looked on the office door of the shared office we adjuncts all share, ‘Mike Massamen.. Hours By Appointment’, because when I first taped the little cardboard announcing timetable of my hours I still worked there at the winery, my 40-hour week walk, but not now. I instantly took it down, assignment myself some hours around what the other instructors reserved. My new card… I was effulgent in scribbling my hours, maybe even proud, maybe even angry, but I was an adjunct with office hours now, one step closer to true professorhood, I thought.
I quickly graded the inclass writings from last week, or maybe the week before, I was caught-up, kind of, I still had the first grand submission of the semester in my bag, 31 or so from the 1A, with me now, so I guess I could grade one or two, but it was only 6:32 and I needed a minute, not even 24 hours after my release, or termination, or layoff. Wonder how they’d describe it, not sure I care, I’m teaching now, and they’re still there. Roll sheet, right, and each student today will sound differently to me, look differently because I have different eyes, more deliberative eyes, and tomorrow, which was normally an 8-hour day at the square job is now utilized for collection, and grading, and writing, I’m a teacher again, and I can barely believe it. Should I send them a thankyou card or maybe some type of review? Maybe I should grade the last two and a half years there, and write it here, from my little shared office.. no, concentrate, I told myself, drink your coffee, and think of yourself as new, with a new note of Newness about you.
[journal] still hard to believe it happened but it did, I just have to realize and accept, and be happy, celebrate, and celebrate with the students, show them your celebratory and reborn energy. Coffee later with a full-timer, Michael as well, and I’ll ask him about the PhD mission and how to “navigate that” as he said the other day, and how I want to learn from him and how he approaches Literature and his students and Pedagogy as a principle, and just this Life, and what I can expect in my adjunct fight.. sooner or later becoming a war, I’m sure, but a good one.