Well, my great idea to keep a blog chronicling my adventures as an adjunct didn’t quite work out. I never actually had time to blog. I had lots of ideas for posts based on what I was experiencing, but I lacked the time and energy to put pen to paper, so to speak. Perhaps that’s a better commentary on adjuncting than I could have ever written. After only two years of life as an adjunct, I was exhausted. Exhausted of piecing together a life and always having to have a contingency plan in case something fell through. Exhausted from constant over-scheduling because I could never afford to turn down anything that could bring in even a little money–or could potentially lead to an opportunity for more stable employment.Exhausted from trying to be part of several different communities at once and the guilt when I couldn’t give my all to any. There has been a lot published lately on the plight of adjuncts. I must confess that my trials seem insignificant against many of the horror stories being brought to light. I was lucky enough to have excellent colleagues, adjunct and full time alike, at all the institutions I worked for who were supportive and friendly. I never felt like I was treated as a second class citizen. I always managed to feed myself and keep a roof over my head. I was even able to afford car payments when my beloved Goldie Honda was lost to her second not-at-fault accident of the year.
Adjuncting also gave me an excellent sense for what I wanted for my future. Leaving graduate school two years ago, I was lost and directionless. I wasn’t sure if the goal of getting a PhD and becoming a professor was what I really wanted or was just what I knew. I feared I was just going through the motions for my future. Adjuncting reaffirmed my love of teaching. It also gave me more insight into specifically what and who I want to teach. I had the opportunity to work at a high school, a community college and a 4-year liberal arts school. I taught composition, literature, and developmental reading and writing. These experiences helped me rule out high school teaching as a potential career path (I salute all high school teachers–I couldn’t do it!). They also helped me realize a passion for teaching writing, especially to those who struggle with it. Yet, even with all these positives, I knew I couldn’t keep up this life for much longer. This spring I found myself in the wonderful position of facing several different options for my future: I was accepted into ODU’s English doctorate program; I was offered a position as the Coordinator of the Writing Center at Virginia Wesleyan and was offered a full time teaching position at a local community college–the saying “when it rains it pours” comes to mind! After considerable deliberation and advice from many wonderful people in my life, I finally decided to accept the position as the Writing Center Coordinator AND pursue the PhD program at ODU part time (I’m going to be a busy girl!). So while this blog was supposed to chronicle my adventures as an adjunct, it will now take on a new direction: chronicling my adventures as a new leader in a college writing center. The position officially starts in July, though I have already begun reading any writing center scholarship I can get my hands on (any suggestions for important things to read is appreciated). I am so excited to see where this next chapter of my life will go, and I will hopefully do a better job of blogging this time.