…start my Monday by being a Zen pool of optimism and thought while taking little James Joyce to Starbucks for a treat before hurrying him to school, thinking about going for a full-time post vs. stint in the wine world, then running into ‘A’, a FT-er I quite like actually, more than most others in the department, she telling me she’s studying for her doctorate in education in the city, and then I think about that again– that, the PhD, and studying, being a student and writing as my students do, staying in books and not letting for anything, never surrendering my dreams of being at Stanford like I used to always fancy and fantasize, and why do I have to only conceive it as fantasy, I think. So I rush to the adjunct office, or cell, as the conference room is being used by a group of someone’s students.. no matter, so I break open the laptop and begin typing the lecture for the day, no need to site specifics in this entry but I write everything…
…career path.. the writer/professor, foremost. And the creative connectivity is what will keep it from any blandness. The adjunct worries fade, dissolve as if in a bath with Esther.
I start writing the lecture.. and I begin with a singular word, and the concept of singularity in Hemingway’s writing. Not so much simplicity as it is certainty.
I take a break from the lecture writing and realize that the growers hadn’t paid me yet, and that this caffein from the 4-shot mocha is commanding me with a bit too much harshness, perhaps. I look up critical articles on Moveable Feast and find a couple but none that really engineer my thinking any one way. Think I need a walk. Think I need a water.
Heated the rest of the burrito and walked by a ft-er’s office, she asleep in her chair, legs tucked up on the seat and arms wrapped around her midsection, and drapes wide open so anyone could see. Part of me laughed, part of me envied, and the other part frustrated.. these full-timers think they can do anything, and they worry about nothing, hardly ever taking their role with serious convicted vigor, except for teachers like ‘A’ who’s obviously into her role and always moving, driving down to SF for that EdD. I go back to my lecture writing, determined to end this semester more victoriously than I ever have and teach myself something, teach them the students a bit more about writing and Hemingway and reading actively…
“So are you gonna make wine again?” Michael asks, folding one leg over the other, looking at his screen then back at me.
“I don’t know. I’d like to, but…” I say, slow and with an obviated reluctance.
“Are you gonna stop teaching?”
“Maybe.. I don’t know, man. I need to make more money.”
“No, I understand,” he says, but I wonder how much he really does understand me and other adjuncts, sweet a guy he is. Who does understand this and what adjuncts go through, and what we do, and WHY we do it. I’m starting to think that many of the adjuncts around me don’t even know why they put themselves in such positioning. Then I wonder what I’m doing here, in this conversation with him and why I’m not traveling yet, goddamnit. Why am I not on a plane somewhere to talk about wine or literature or writing about wine, or even to sell wine.
“I’m loving this fall weather. It’s great.”
“Yeah, I love the fall, too.”
“How cold does it get in New York, I mean really?”
“Cold, man. It can get really cold, and the wind just.. ugh, really cold.”
“I’ve never been, really want to go, hopefully some day soon.”