You Might be an Adjunct

You might be an adjunct if…

…your students make more money than you do….

…your office looks a lot like the trunk of a car because it is the trunk of a car…

…you were hired in a Starbucks or over email to teach college students.

If you don’t have time to volunteer for an organization because you are too busy volunteering for your employer, you might be an adjunct.

You might be an adjunct if…

…selling the books you receive as desk copies from publishers seems a better income resource than selling your own blood…

…you have a PhD and think that a full-time job at a Hallmark store would be an upgrade…

…Nobody – not your supervisor, not the HR department, not even you — knows how many hours you actually work.

If you share two computers with eight other people, there’s a good chance that you are an adjunct professor.

If your employer often seems surprised that you want to be paid for work asked of you, you’re very likely an adjunct.

You might be an adjunct if…

…you are all too familiar with the terms “starvation summer” and the “winter break hunger games”…

…you are given 2-days’ notice to prepare for a class you didn’t plan to teach…

…you requested 9 classes at 3 different colleges because you knew you might lose one or more to full-time faculty or low-enrollment, but you didn’t. And Now you have to teach all 9…

…you only take 3 classes because that is all you can handle, and a full-time faculty takes one of those classes, leaving you to beg from your parents and grandparents and the welfare department for survival money.

If you can easily lose your job without quitting or being fired, you very well might be an adjunct.

You might be an adjunct if…

…you are a teacher who does not qualify for teacher retirement…

…the class you need to pay your rent was taken by a full-time faculty so she could have a “nice Christmas bonus”…

…you live in fear of losing your job while the full-time faculty seem to slack and leave their work for you to do…

…you do the work – unpaid – in hopes that you will be “re-hired” next term.

If you realize that your hard work will never get you anywhere and you decide to slack and get by with the minimum, much in the way you by as an undergrad student, then chances are you have been an adjunct for a while.

You might be an adjunct if…

…you work just as much – probably more – than your full-time colleagues, yet have none of the job security or benefits they enjoy…

…you are criticized for insufficient preparation when you are only given credit for time spent inside the classroom…

…you spend hours every week preparing for class time, but are only given credit for the time spent in class.

If you have ever held materials or grades hostage while waiting for HR to figure out how to release your paycheck, you might be an adjunct professor.

You are very likely an adjunct professor if you know — though don’t like to think about it — that this job can literally kill you.

You might be an adjunct if…

…suicide is your retirement plan

…you are wearing your big-girl panties, and it turns out that panties won’t help you when the system is broken…

…you advise your students to quit college – a system that does not even support itself – to spend their time and money more meaningfully…

If you’re squinting to read the words on the screen because you don’t have vision-care insurance and you’re wearing the same glasses you had as a graduate student, even though you graduated 10 years ago, you just might be an adjunct.

*Thank you to Jeff Foxworthy, creator of the “You Might be a Redneck” series, source of timeless humor. It’s funny because it’s true.

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