Monday, June 22, 2015

How eBay Subsidized My Academic Career

The Chronicle of Higher Education
June 22nd, 2015

This past year, as an instructor in the English department at a state university, I learned how to auction items online, mail packages without visiting the post office, practice the Buddhist principle of non­attachment, and evaluate gold prices.
I’ve been teaching undergraduates for nearly five years, and I’ve always been motivated by the give-and-take of the classroom. But when a person reports to work only two days a week and can’t pay her rent, she’s forced to develop other skills.
Last June, I accepted what for years had been my dream job: a full-time instructorship. As an adjunct instructor for four years, I’d nearly given up on job security and was prepared to leave academe. But then I got an email from the chair of the English department offering me a full-time, one-year appointment. The word "benefits" reduced me to tears.

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