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I'm Staying Right Here

posted: 2.14.08 by archived

Last week, two of my adjunct colleagues each spent over a C-note to FedEx applications for job openings. Yup, that is a huge amount of money to spend on overnight delivery. Then again, you have to be willing to spend money in order to earn money. I have not spent anything on postage this year. Not one cent. I have saved because I am not applying for full-time work anywhere else.

Egads! Did I just say that? Yes, I did. And I have been pretty clear about that once my partner and I made the decision to stay here for at least another year. There’s a part of me that cringes when I think about this, but I know that cringing is from fear. “If they find out I’m not going anywhere, they’ll give me the worst schedule. Or, they won’t even hire me. Or, I’ll get screwed.” Well, perhaps. But I doubt it. I am a firm believer in treating others how you want to be treated. I want my department to show me courtesy and respect, so I show them courtesy and respect. I know I will not be going anywhere, so I commit to being here for one year. I could hide that, sure, and do a weird political dance of white lies to keep them unstable and attempt to establish some kind of power dominance, but I am not interested. That garbage is a bunch of hooey, and I try to avoid it if I can. So, I try to be as honest and as up-front as possible.

I know there is a possibility that being honest and staying here could hurt me. So could sending out applications. So could asking for letters of recommendation. So could wearing the wrong pair of shoes on Tuesday. More important than those fears is that I now have a sense of place where I teach. Yes, it is transitory. I am fine with that. I have finally established a rhythm in my teaching process, my personal life, my interaction with peers, and my physical training. I am happy. It would be foolish to disrupt that. So, I’m staying right here. For now.

Next season is an entirely different story that is not even yet written. I am content knowing that. And I am pleased knowing that I will be here for another year. The ravens will fly around the campus squawking their bloody heads off, rain will dump in downpours, and the misty gloomy haze of Humboldt County will seep into my skin as I walk to catch the bus for a 45 minute ride to work. And that is perfect.

Rather than judge, doubt, or second-guess our decision to stay for another year, I have accepted it and embraced it. Whatever comes, I am pleased to be here. While my colleagues and friends send out their applications, I watch with respect and admiration. I am glad that is not me now, but I am glad to also see how people do it. That way, when it is my turn, I will also do it well.

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Categories: Adjunct Advice, Gregory Zobel, Professional Development & Service
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