I spent much of this week moving into two different offices.
One move was fairly simple. I’m back at Mid-Range Campus for one class this semester, and I’d been assigned to bunk with a tenured professor in his office – the same colleague who gave me his office last year, except that this year he was back from his administrative position and teaching full time. We were going to alternate days, except that he ended up needing to be there on my days too. It turned out that there was space in the adjunct corral a couple of doors down, and if I moved in there it would allow him to have his office back full time.
This seemed reasonable to me.
The whole process took all of about fifteen minutes. As an adjunct, I have learned to live light on the land. I got a new key, moved my two canvas shopping bags’ worth of stuff (tea kettle and related supplies, miscellaneous papers, etc) two doors down the hallway, and got set up. I’ve actually got more space now since the adjunct market is in steep decline in Wisconsin, a state whose current regime’s unremitting hostility to the very idea of education has, not surprisingly, resulted in teacher shortages across the board and catastrophic budget cuts heralding further reductions in the future. In an office set up for as many as four adjuncts, there are only two of us. And I’ll be gone by mid-May.
I’m just going to enjoy it while it lasts.
The other move was a bit more complicated and heralds a new era in my professional life, though one foreshadowed by everything I just wrote.
I have been very fortunate to have found full employment as an adjunct for the last three semesters, but if you’re in this field you know that this is a fragile and generally temporary state. Even the normal ebb and flow of things conspires against stability, and a political climate that regards an educated and informed populace as a threat to be eliminated only makes that instability greater. But education matters to me and I’d like to stay in the field despite all that. So I’ve been applying for other, more student-service-oriented positions for a while now, and this month I was hired for one down at Home Campus.
How I managed to survive the interview process I’m not sure. I’ve never been good at interviews.
But I am now employed, and I will start as soon as they have conducted all of the background checks necessary to confirm that I am not some kind of violent criminal likely to take over the nearest bird sanctuary in the name of ideology and greed. This may not happen until late next week – the wheels of bureaucracy grind slowly, even for someone whose most serious brush with the law was a speeding ticket twenty-three years ago – but I took the opportunity to go in on Friday and set up my new office.
Yes, I get an office. A whole office just for me! One that I don’t have to share or give back in seventeen weeks, assuming that I actually do well in this new job and they don’t pitch me over the side as dead weight. I’m going to do my best to make sure that said pitching does not happen.
I have been sharing an office elsewhere on campus for a while now, in that temporary adjunct sort of way, and it seemed like a good idea for me to transfer all my stuff from there to the new place before I actually had to get in there and work. This took less than ninety minutes. What can I say? Living light.
Now all I have to do is decorate the place.
So it will be a new start for me, even as I am still teaching classes when I can. I'm multi-talented. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.