|A pin oak. They're lovely trees.|
I’d rather be writing. . . I’d rather be teaching . . . As it turns out, I’ll only be writing. On June 6, minutes after my last class ended, with only grading left to do, I dropped in on the dean and resigned, packed up my office, and drove away. (If you’re an adjunct, you’ll know I didn’t have much to pack. I desk-surfed this year and learned fast not to accumulate.) I’m sitting in my office at home in Bellingham now, looking out at the pin oaks planted in the green strip that divides Broadway, and feeling a little shell-shocked.
I don’t regret my most recent experiences in the classroom. In four quarters, I learned, again, from 200 students that what matters in life doesn’t have much to do with how to list dates in MLA format.
Here is a sampling of remarks I heard from fellow English Dept. faculty this year:
I don’t want to know anything about my students.
What do you mean they should read good books? Do you mean classics?
We should probably assign at least one book per quarter.
This may look like a five-paragraph essay, but it’s not. I tell them not to write five-paragraph essays.
I don’t even want to be in the same room as that guy (a vet). He’s the most judgmental person I’ve ever known. I wouldn’t be surprised if he showed up with a gun and shot me.
Well, in my 101, that paper would get a D.
My husband, who will have to work more hours to pay for private health insurance again, has been, as usual, very kind. I know most adjuncts can’t afford to quit. I know.