Anymore, teaching has become more a routine than passion. Oh, it used to be passion, when I first started over ten years ago, driving from Santa Rosa down to Chabot College in, I think, Hayward. My first assignment, and I was so hungry I had to take it. I didn’t care how far I had to drive and how much I spent on gas in ratio to what they paid me. It was teaching, they sensed my eagerness and excitement. I took it. But that’s very much the problem and qualm I have with the system, and why anymore this is more a routine than an elevated labor love for me. The adjunct game. It’s a game. To them, the department chairs and chancellors, Deans, trustee members, various administrators, the tenured faculty that sit on whatever boards. But it’s not a game to us. It’s teaching, it’s our livelihood and we’ll take whatever assignments we can get. To a point. At least for me. I’ve reach ‘the point’. The point is sharp and has pieced that passion. More than a bubble burst, but a dream that’s bled out.
So every semester, I sign up for classes. At a campus close by, no more commuting. I’m done with the flying freeway falcon or whatever they call us. So sad that it’s come to this, in one look, but in another I can see it, what they do. It won’t happen anymore. I can raise awareness to grad students and those thinking they want to teach college. Be an adjunct, go for the full-time, but don’t let it string-pull you to odd hours and several campuses. Make it work for you. They work for you, not you for them, as an adjunct.
Remember one night thinking, driving back up 580 toward the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, “Isn’t this a little far for one class?” But I dismissed the thought. I was teaching. I was doing what I’d always wanted to do since high school. I was professor.. ‘Professor’. And it was capitalized in the bookstore, on that card under the books I ordered. They had me. Well, not anymore. They taught me something. They taught me too much. I’m ready for graduation. To something else.