Some Days as an Adjunct 

You’re just not in the mood.  And, it may happen that you’re slightly a bit ahead in your semester schedule.  During an 8-week Summer course, that’s quite hard to do.  Somehow I’ve done it.  Wouldn’t say I’m “ahead”, necessarily, but certainly in a comfortable spot, where I can breathe and all papers have been handed back and I can have an hour or so to myself.  Forgot my office keys, or should I say ‘shared office’ keys, at home so I walked back here, back to the classroom.  Room 1624, Emeritus Hall.  Loving this quiet far more than that enclosed box of an “office” they so kindly give to us adjuncts.  Yeah, I definitely needed to let them go significantly early tonight.  I need a night, I need a moment.  And if you’re an adjunct, you know what I mean.  Wouldn’t even say I wasn’t in the mood for class, I don’t just feel like the teaching Me.  Not sure why, had a great day at the winery job, got a lot of writing and copywriting and editing done… but maybe that’s it, maybe I’m getting worn down, beat up, tired, tiring.  “Burnt out”, as they always say and warn me of.  “Ugh!” I’m thinking, “Not me!” I don’t want to be one of those fragile writers that can’t take on too much, or even just some regular bloke with too much on his plate.  There’s no such thing as too much for my plate.  “Oh yeah?” I direct at myself, “Then why did you really let them go?” I refuse to answer, just stick to my entrance sentence, just not in the mood.

The adjunct life has been part of my life for over ten years now.  TEN.  Is it time I quit, move on, throw myself completely into my writing and blogging and storytelling, freelancing?  Think it may be, actually.  Wow, me not teaching—  What am I talking about?  I can teach through my writing.  I’ve always known this and thought about this, and at times have taught by page’s way, but never fully let go of the inhibitions.  Well, I think it’s time.  I’m done.  This is for sure my last Summer teaching, and Fall, well, I have two classes, but who knows.  I may go down to one.  No, can’t do that.  I’ll follow through with my assignments, but Spring is up in the air.  And I don’t know if I’ll catch it or just let it fall to the C Lot cement (C Lot’s where they make the part-time instructors park, as we’re not crucial enough to get a permit for the main lot, even though we constitute over 75% of the instructional force of all community colleges).  Just knowing how many of us are part-time, or “contingent”, is enough to make me quit.  But I’m making it work for me, and that’s what I suggest to any of these grad students thinking about teaching at the college level—  Go ahead, enjoy, just make sure it’s working for you.  I’m only realizing this now.

No more of that.  Time to enjoy the quiet.  My mood’s elevated, I have time to write, just listening to the cars zooming by on Elliott Avenue, and sipping the remaining coffee in tumbler.  Glad I forgot my keys, that here’s where I had to plant.  Mood’s changed, elevated, where are the students?  I’m ready for them now…