Did I say that I was finished complaining about the "university" where I teach? Well, I've changed my mind. I just finished grading all of my papers and rather than doing a happy dance, I feel like crying.
The dean sent out a message on Wednesday that any adjuncts who wanted to be paid this year for the quarter we taught needed to submit grades and our invoice by noon on Friday. Those of us with Friday night courses were allowed to submit by noon on Saturday.
My class, my very difficult and needy class, met Friday from 6 to 9:30 p.m. My 26 students each diligently handed in final drafts of their 5 to 8 page research essays. I sat through their presentations, marking their grades. Then, I had until today at noon to grade them all, put the grades in the gradebook and send a copy along with the invoice to the Dean.
And I did it. I made it with about 13 minutes to spare. I sent the email with the attachments and went to talk to my husband who I had blown off, saying, "I've got to finish this."
Then, I went back to check my email and saw an "Out of the office" message from the dean. She wasn't in today.
That means I won't be paid this year for a class I've been teaching since the last week of October. I should probably get paid mid-January or at the end of January. It shouldn't be a big deal, but it irks me. I was looking forward to a full bank account, of being able to send off extra money for bills right after Christmas.
On the plus side, last night at the end of class, I had several students come up to me and thank me for the class. This was a class of complainers, so I was surprised. Even the student who I suspected might be packing heat because he was so hostile toward me, thanked me.
One student, who is originally from Africa, he's exuberant and happy and lively, came up and said, "It is we who should be thanking you. You made this class so good."
And I said, "No, M. The students really determine how entertaining the class is."
He shook his head, and said, "No, thank you."
That felt good.
I'm committed to one more class at this university and then I'll regroup. I feel that they don't treat their adjunct faculty very well, and they certainly don't compensate us for all the extras they expect.
I have at least a week before I have to start planning classes again. I think I'll enjoy Christmas and forget about teaching for awhile.
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