I’ve been negligent of my keeping of this space lately, and I’m not happy about it. Though I’ve told myself I’m not going to make resolutions, as such, I am going to make a concerted effort to be more mindful of this blog; it is too good a resource to neglect.
So, the professional situation looks like this: I was not asked back to Local U. to teach in the spring, but neither was any other adjunct (a fact that was confirmed for me when I bumped into one of my (much senior) colleagues while taking my mother to a dantist appointment on Tuesday. This gentleman has many years with Local U., and when I asked him what he’s doing in the spring, he answered “not teaching, anyway”). Dr. C, my boss at L.U., told me to keep my schedule open for the fall as he’ll “definitely” want me back. While I really wish that I could be teaching around the calendar at L.U., knowing that I’ve got the job in the spring feels like a present with a “do not open until Christmas” label on it – something really good held in reserve.
I was, surprisingly, asked back to teach the spring term at Tiny Community College. I say “surprisingly” because TCC is closing – soon – and the atmosphere over there resembles ghost town far more than it does college. I was expecting, with the cutbacks in staffing and the reduction in student body, that last semester would literally be my last, but Joe took me aside a few weeks ago and asked if I was interested in teaching a public speaking class in January.
Of course I said yes, and I was surprised again when I dropped off last semester’s grades and found out that my speaking class has an enrollment of 16 students! I was expecting four, maybe six, tops – sixteen feels like a gift; teaching tiny lit classes is one thing – teaching tiny speaking classes is a lot harder than leading a full complement. Anyway, the class is a mid-afternoon, Monday/Wednesday traditional format that starts on the 5th. I’ll be doing some work this weekend to spiff up the syllabus; the recent election cycle has given me a lot more great speeches to feature!
My plan for the quarter is to get – and keep – this speaking class running smoothly, to maintain my contact and relationships with the folks over at L.U. (I got to keep my office and Dr. C told me to keep coming to the every-other-week composition staff meetings, so I’ll be able to show my face quite a lot), and to update my CV and distribute it to the other colleges in the area. My goal is to get an ‘in’ with the state’s community college system; that I’ve worked for L.U. will, I think, make me a more attractive candidate for the state’s schools, and I’m going to talk to Dr. C. to find out if he has a contact name I can target. My goal for 2009 is to get myself a permenant teaching position, even if that position is part-time.
I don’t expect 2009 to be a banner year for me professionally, but niether do I despair about my situation. While I’d certainly like a bit more stability, I’m not panicked about the way I practice; I don’t need a full-time, tenured position to feel successful and productive. I like adjunct work and will keep at it for as long as it’s practical.