Thursday, January 17, 2013

on community.

i spent four years as strictly an adjunct instructor.

being an adjunct is difficult. 

you are a part of the faculty, but in a diminished, displaced kind of way. you have no campus base, other than whatever division you are based out of.  you share a computer, printer, and everything else.  the only thing that is really and truly yours is your class and your mailbox.   you know some people, but most of the non-students milling around campus are foreign to you.  you have surface-level relationships with full time faculty and other adjuncts--you say hello, inquire about classes and vacations, but never really have a conversation.  you aren't quite faculty, but you still teach and do most of the things faculty members do--you just have to store everything in your car.

think of it as faculty-lite. 

then i got a full-time visiting scholar position.  and suddenly the community college where i teach became part of my actual community.

i got to know my colleagues.  we have actual conversations about more than just classes or SLOs.  we laugh a lot.  we discuss big issues and tiny little bits of minutiae

this part is so foreign to me, and i struggle with it every day.  i'm not used to having "work friends".  for the better part of five years i have been pretty isolated at work--just me, my students, and an occasional full-timer stopping by.  suddenly i'm surrounded by people who know my name and want to know about me and what i think.  it's pretty weird.  but also pretty cool. 

part of this is probably just the very fact that adjuncts are constantly on the move.  they often teach at multiple schools and spend little quality time on any one campus.  the opposite is true of full-time faculty.  yes, we have the same breaks and vacations, but we also have campus homes that allow us to hang out a little longer. 

i'm lucky in that i have two campus homes.  when i was brought on full-time, i was asked to be the designated english faculty at one of our community campuses--a smaller version of the main college campus where i've spent the last four years.  with that appointment came an office.  and a second office at the main campus so that when i have meetings i have a place to land.

my campus homes aren't much--in fact my main campus office is a bit drab (i'm not really there enough to justify making it lovely)--but they are mine.  my own private little space in a sea of people.

all this is to say that this week i feel fortunate to be surrounded by wonderful, funny people who have begun to think of me as one of their own and to have my own little islands of solitude where i can work, play, and get away from it all when i need to.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

on 2012.

2012 is finally over. THANK GOD!  2012 rewind, here i go:

worst parts: losing loved ones: daddy, mary, shane, bella, and zoe; the passing of ray bradbury; kristy moving

best parts: hot springs with nick, willie nelson, rodeo with gabe, pulling off nick's party, glen rose with mom, going full-time

let’s be frank:  this year was shit. it was awful in every sense of the word.  but i know that i have it better and easier than so many others, despite the year's tremendous hardships.  so now on to the resolutions.

in 2012, i resolved to:
1) work seriously on the bradbury project. maybe even go to ohio to see the manuscripts.

-yes.  while i never did make it to ohio, i did finish this project.  FINALLY.
2) learn the new sewing machine (emmie) backwards and forwards
-yes.  emmie and i have a great relationship.
3) cook more
-sure.  this one is kind of hard to gauge since so much of the year was spent traveling between the house and various hospitals.  mom cooked a lot, but we ate out a lot, too.  i going to call this one a fail.

in 2013, i will:
1)  write more—even if it’s just five minutes a day
2)  choose joy

best of 2012 (the best things i've encountered this year [either truly great or awesomely bad or entertaining])
*shadow divers – robert kurson
*the big sleep – raymond chandler
*dark places – gillian flynn
*graceling – kristin cashore
*never let me go – kazuo ishiguro

*fallen empires – snow patrol
*leaving eden – carolina chocolate drops
*california 37 - train

*tornado - little big town
*the lumineers – the lumineers
*corn money - defibulators

*the ides of march
*the hunger games
*the raven
*abraham lincoln: vampire hunter
*marvel’s the avengers
*the muppets
*silver linings playbook

2012 in review (quotes from my dear neglected blog):

janeiro: "poetry is pure.  it is simple.  it is the essence of life."

fevereiro: " dear mystery blog-reader, i appreciate the whitman gift more than you could ever know."

marco: "i really wanted to like this book."

abril: " i only have 29 days until the ban is lifted."

maio: "what book will you buy first?” was the question i was asked most during my last week of the book-buying-ban.”

junho: "goodbye, mr. bradbury.  and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."

julho: "will i ever feel up to writing again?”

agosto: "officer:  i'm going to need a volunteer to act as our pack leader.  remember, this is a fight for your lives!’ / my good friend and colleague:  ‘i volunteer as tribute!’”

setembro: " we all sit on pins and needles, a little nervous, in the words of seamus heaney "a little emptier, a little spent."

outubro: "but i don't know how to say it or even if i should.  so i remain silent, unsure, restless, and sad.”

novembro: no posts

dezembro: no posts