Monday, October 31, 2011
Brian from Birmingham Is Blue.
Among my teaching cohort is a large group of humanities PhDs from the great humanities bust generation. We're overqualified, heavily in debt with student loans, and teaching intro courses in fields where we've been expansively prepared to teach something else.
The students can't find classrooms, have lost the ability to read an email if it comes from an instructor, don't "get" why they have to attend every class meeting, and would like to take tests over and over until they pass. They are, after all, paying for their education.
I've been on the job market for 4 years and have had 3 conference interviews, 4 Skype interviews, and one campus interview.
I teach full time, 5/5 load, 80% freshmen. I don't have time to write, not if I want to do all the grading. I hate my life. I eat too much, drink too much, started smoking in order to hang with a couple of pals who've also given up, and my main pastime has become sitting on the couch, thinking about the mess my life has become, and watching cartoons from my youth.
Yes, I know I could turn things around, focus on the good parts of my life. I know I could make time to write, and be encouraged by the occasional good student.
But no, I want to sit here, in the last few minutes before I start a triple header of back to back to back intro courses (for which about 60% of my students will attend, at least half of them having not done the reading), and bitch about what a fucking lie I was sold about being a college professor.