The brand-new Adjunctinthedark.com!

Hello, world!

 

I am, despite all evidence to the contrary, still alive and kicking in blog-land. It hasn’t been *this* blog, but that is neither here nor there. I think of you guys often, and have missed you terribly. But guys grad school is super busy and it gets even busier once the coursework is *done* who knew?! So writing here has, unfortunately, fallen by the wayside.

 

Or it had, until one of my colleagues asked me to be a guest speaker on our departmental podcast, where I was going to get a chance to talk about working in academia with a disability. This is super exciting to me, because, as y’all know, it’s a topic near and dear to my heart. And that podcast made me think that I should really pop back in here. And then my brain finally kicked into gear, and realized that I should be promoting the blog on the podcast. But I wanted to have something a bit nicer to promote. The cobwebs around here are pretty embarrassing. But I think the conversations I want to have here are really important, and so, in the best interests of the blog, I upgraded my WordPress a little, and thus, a domain name was born. Tell your friends, your family, your well-intentioned-but-missing-the-point coworkers… adjunctinthedark.com lives! (It may be going through some growing pains for the next few weeks, because I am bad at WordPress, but it still counts as living. Please be patient).

 

I want to promise that I’m going to develop a more consistent blog schedule, now that I’m paying money to maintain this, and will maybe even have an audience. And while I really do intend to do this, a trip through the archives today has shown me that, embarrassingly enough, I have made that promise no less than eight times. So, take it with the grain of salt that you obviously should, because my brand of dumpster-fire apparently never changes. But I’m going to try. I would really like this to become a good platform for the issues in higher education that affect the under-paid and under-represented, and also a place where my rampant and unappreciated sarcasm can be broadcast to the world.

 

So, if you’ve been here since the beginning, bless you and your descendants for hanging around. And if you’re new, welcome! I really, really hope to be talking to you on the regular, and I hope you’ll stick with me.

 

And because other things never change, please excuse me while I go lesson plan for my class…tomorrow.

 

Be well.

Ready, Set…

Second semester of my first year in the doctorate program has just gotten underway as of this morning, so it seemed as good a time as any to pop up out of the churning waves, gasping and flailing, to attempt a more consistent blogging schedule. This semester I am no longer an adjunct in the dark; instead I am a writing tutor in the dark, so in theory there should be more time without all that pesky grading. But the title of gradstudentinthedark still firmly remains as an implied subtitle, so I’m sure there will be plenty of madness to fill these pages.

I am reassured of this fact by the following information:
-My house is an absolute mess.
-My countertops are invisible under a pile of dirty dishes and tins of tea.
-You could knit a rather nice sweater out of the amount of cat hair in my house.
-I just figured out my schedule…today, for the semester that started…today.
-I still don’t actually know what I’m supposed to do for the other half of my job.
-It’s the first Monday and I’m already upset I have to go to work tomorrow.
-…this is only the first day of the semester.

See? Plenty of chaos. Some of it might not even be whining. But writing tutoring is also a brand new experience, one which will bring me into contact with the ranks of students beyond my freshman composition classes. And there is just nothing about that that promises any sort of awful normality.

And speaking of sleep in the worst segue ever, this is a thing I should do. Because if you can’t be well-rested for Monday, tell it to bugger off and shoot for Tuesday instead.

A happy belated new-year for anyone still hanging around in the void-that-is-the-blog. I hope to bring you tales of strange chaos and utter madness soon.

Be well!

Promises Promises

I know, I know.  Best of intentions, and it’s still a month and a half between posts.

 

First off, big news on the blogger-that-is-me front, this blog will soon have the ability to be renamed Gradstudentandadjunctinthedark.

 

…It won’t be, because that is long and unruly and looks terrible, but the point still stands.  Sometime in August, yours truly will be moving… somewhere, where the land flows with living stipends, and I will still be teaching but also balancing other obligations as well.  PHD land, baby.

 

All joking aside, I’m more excited than I can possibly say.  This has been a long time hoped/prayed for, and is the fulfillment of 3 and a half years of anxiety attacks and application fees.  So expect a few stories on here not directly related to adjuncting–because I can only write about the stuff taking up most space in my brain.  Focus?  What’s that.

 

Otherwise, the semester has started.  I have a much more motivated lot of students, though I still can’t tell how they feel about me.  I admit that my head has sort of been in the clouds since I found out about school, and it’s reflecting on my teaching a little.  It’s like senior-itus, except, I suspect, worse.  But I soldier on, and hopefully they get an education in the process.

 

I’m trying to get through grading their first papers.  Because I procrastinate chronically, it’s been a struggle.  But I’m hoping to finish them today.  I have, however, discovered that grading will forever be my downfall.  I start reading those blessed little papers, and the next thing you know, all I want to do is sleep.  It’s better than drugs.  And I’ll finish this batch just in time for the next one to start.  But it’s my own fault, so.

 

We’re doing an activity on revision tomorrow.  I’m already trying to explain the difference between peer review and revision in my own head, just in preparation, so I know what to say when I’m repeating myself for the sixth time.

 

That’s it for now.  I’ve got to go see a lady about a thing.  Hope 2014 is starting out well for you all.

 

Over and out.

Happy 2014

Well, here goes another year.  2013 was…interesting to say the least.  There are too many world events to count, and huge momentous things that I am in no way qualified to talk about on a teaching blog.

 

On the personal front, it was a year of learning to wait.  I did grad apps in the spring that didn’t pan out, got let go, got re-hired, and had one of the most challenging semesters I’ve had yet.  But all in all, it shaped up pretty well.  It was a strange year of limbo for me, but also one that taught me a lot about patience, and finding the good even in the ugly, and about enjoying simple things no matter what.  I think I grew a little, and that seems like about as much as anyone can ask from a year.

 

The most interesting, and relevant to this blog (yes, sometimes I stay on topic), was my collection of students this semester.  Partially because of me, and partially because of them, we had trouble getting places this semester.  I talked and talked, but it felt like we never really got anywhere.  I left the semester fairly convinced they hadn’t learned anything.

 

And then I looked at the class reflections, and almost cried.  I got several comments that this was their favorite English class, that it challenged them, and that it helped them come out of their shells.  Now granted, I forgot to give them the talk about how I don’t read these until after I grade, so some of them might be sucking up, but those folks aside, I got some very sweet and uplifting comments.

 

As a teacher, that’s my main goal–I want to help them.  And if I can’t teach them how to formulate a bloody argument, or that a thesis statement is not a question, I’d like to at least teach them that they can write, that writing is important, or that they have opinions worth listening to.  And I think I managed to do that, and that makes me feel good about the last five months.

 

So even though things kind of ended on a whimper instead of a bang, I still have a warm fuzzy for these kids that I never expected to have.  I might actually miss them.  And so many of them are teetering on the cusp–I hope they tip over on the side that lets them do great things.

 

So that’s me.  As for you, I hope your year was full of learning and interesting discoveries, that you moved beyond something, or gained something, or just left 2013 a little better and more interesting than you found it last January first.

 

All the best from the blog.  Everyone have a safe and happy night, and let’s give 2014 a run for its money.

 

Cheers.