Also titled: “In Which a Miracle Occurs.”
Thank you, thank you for your good wishes today – they really paid off!! You are now reading the blog of an adjunct professor of English at Tiny Community College!
It was, perhaps, the strangest interview I’ve ever had – not that I’ve had that many, really, but still. Joe did most of the talking, regaling me with the history of the college (“The school is more than 100 years old, you know!”) and about how they were recently bought out by a conglomerate which buys small schools and turns them into for-profit institutions (“which is both a good and a bad thing,” Joe told me. “Good because there’s a lot more access to materials and resources, and the kids can use the corporate umbrella to do some great networking and find jobs after they graduate, but a lot of older faculty don’t like the way some things had to change when we made the transition.”).
The school is mostly career-oriented; they offer certificate and associate’s degree programs. As such, they don’t have a liberal arts department, so the English classes fall under the General Education department and are maintained so that the college gets to keep its national accreditation. Joe explained to me that the school doesn’t have any admissions standards – if you have a high school diploma or the equivalent and can afford to pay for your classes, you’re in – and that many of the students come to the college without an effective grasp of reading and writing skills. He asked me a couple of questions about what I thought about the classes he had open – did the lack of admissions standards frighten me and what would be the most important thing I wanted my students to come away from the class knowing, for example – and I answered them as forthrightly and honestly as I could. He seemed impressed.
When it was all over, after a tour of the building and what I hoped wouldn’t be a quiz on the names of all the people I was introduced to, Joe asked if I had any questions. When I said I really didn’t, that he’d done a remarkably thorough job of explaining the ins and outs of his school, he turned to me and said, “SO! I would like to offer you the position, but I won’t accept an answer until tomorrow. Go home. Talk it over with your family. Sleep on it. If, tomorrow, you still think it’s something you want to do, give me a call.” Even though he wouldn’t accept my answer, he still sent me home with a new-employee packet.
So, here’s the deal: I’ll be teaching a composition class on Monday evenings from 6 – 7.30, and an “Effective Communication” (public speaking) course on Monday mornings from 10.30 to noon, with an added online class sometime during the week (I gathered from Joe’s explanation that there have to be so many credit hours for general education classes, and the online portion makes up the missing time). Their terms run for 11 weeks, and I’ll start early in October. If, at the end of the term, the college and I decide we like one another, I’ll be offered new courses when the next term begins.
I’m excited and relieved and generally pleased at the results of today. This is pretty much the perfect first gig for me – I get to teach what I know, I get to do it in a pretty relaxed atmosphere with a bunch of supportive people around me (did I mention that I’ll be assigned a mentor?), the schedule is very, very flexible and the commitment is only for 11 weeks at a time. This leaves me open for being able to accept a position at a high school should one make itself available. And, as Kizz so rightly pointed out, now I’ll have something to talk about here!!
And here’s the part where I offer heartfelt gratitude to all of you – for your support, your encouragement and your friendship. I’m so glad to have you around. Thanks.