one of the few who showed, said “We’re gonna get you a professor job there, Mike,” referring to how she and he friend are both transferring to UC Santa Cruz. I felt, and still felt, humbled, inspired, but humiliated. Why am I not a full-professor? Why am I not at a UC lecturing? Enough of that pity talk… The latte that one of them, ’N’, bought for me has me writing with unusual quake. Of course I’m a writer. I can always write, anyone can. But my profession, the one I want to write about and in which I want to grow and be the best whatever I can be, is teaching. N’s friend, ’S’, said “you’re so good at it.”
So I start writing lectures, taking notes, notes on what I want to lecture about in 500 or so words, and take these thoughts to the street, to the Road, not just accepting the usualized adjunct path (as I’ve so many other times written). So my next step, as I noted in my Comp Book in class, just before beginning the meetings with the students, “8-10 pages printed”. For a book. About the adjunct life. About me. So yes, memoir-y.
Have to think of my next lecture topic… Modern readers? The semi-colon? Kerouac? Plath? Hemingway? My first “official” lecture in the stream, which I yesterday wrote at lunch, over the infernal sounds and voices of a basketball commentary on someone’s laptop in the office, was about self-education, essentially. Maybe an extension of that. I so much envy the student and the opportunities they have to grow as thinkers and writers, readers, scholastic people. I’m a student again. One more serious than I’ve ever been. Focusing on the Kerouac quote of life enjoyment, all minutes of life to be embraced and enjoyed. And learned from!
Students. I’m a student. Where I am now, on campus, studying, reading… Need to clean out my backpack.. shit, I need a new one. This bag’s seen its last mile, I’m afraid. Just heard a teacher in one of these hall offices say, “That’s what I’m asking for…” Is that educating? Making the students provide on paper what YOU as the instructor want? That’s not how I teach! Am I doing it wrong? Hearing this guy talk to the student is beginning to irk me, “…your essay scores are fine…” Then he starts fiddling with number and percentages and indulging the student over grade obsession and addiction, pursuit, losing utter focus on the writing. Just heard him say it again, “…your grade…I think it’d be worth it to…” This is not fashionable, my newly fanaticized self-assignment to studenthood. It’ll be everything.. no struggle, no progress, as Douglass said. I’m catalyzing a new struggle. For me, my career and family. I’m returning to the book I started writing at the beginning of the semester, about my age and that I’m still an adjunct. That’s changing now, from this morning’s interactions. I SHOULD be at a school like UCS. And I will. OH, I will. I’m a student, not an adjunct, a teacher; I share ideas, write them, and grow. So here I go. Taking my Comp Book out, scribbling, pretending I have a paper due.