Wednesday, September 2, 2015

How to Be an Adjunct (and Also a Cliché)

The Chronicle of Higher Education
September 1st, 2015


Get a master’s degree.
Try to be anything else. A writer for any local magazine. The assistant manager at a nonprofit. A grocery-store florist. Dog walker. Cat behavior specialist. Wizard.
Tell your mom you can’t find a job. She tells you that’s impossible because you are the most educated person in your family. You don’t talk to her about this anymore.
You remember one of your community-college professors told you that you’d make a good college professor. You decide to give it a shot. You email that same professor, and he refers you to an administrator who, he explains, oversees almost every department at this community college. That isn’t outrageous yet. It will be, someday.
Teach composition courses even though you have absolutely no desire to teach composition and no training in composition. Tell the administration that. Every semester ask the department chair if you can teach something else. Don’t even get formally turned down; just ignored. Keep teaching composition.

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