So. Many people who read and contribute to this blog are adjunct professors.
So. The whole system sucks, and adjunct professors get screwed in so many ways that it might make a person dizzy. It does, in fact, make me dizzy.
So. In my capacity as Acting Chair of Humanities, I put together a schedule for this fall. It was, as anyone could have predicted, more complicated than it seemed at face value. 70% of our faculty are part time, Adjunct Professors. All of them, of course, lead impossible lives and have very complicated schedules. Most of them expect to be accommodated to the letter.
I accommodated them to the letter, whenever possible. When not possible, I accommodated them almost to the letter. In these cases, I heard from them. Oh yes, I heard from them, and they were not always on best behavior. But I understand. I know. I did what they are doing, and I was lucky in that I had a spouse who, while very irritated that for eight long years I was not earning a living wage with so much education under my belt, still could hold his own in the pay-our-rent department. So maybe I don't know. But at least I remember, and can understand somewhat. I want to understand, for what that is worth.
Now we are at the end of the summer. Our college is in sort of a bad state. It impacts everyone. It definitely impacts me, but I know I should not complain.
Of course, it impacts our part time faculty in a drastic, unfair, almost violent way. In the worst way. And no one in the administration really cares. I do believe that. They'd say otherwise, but actions speak much louder than words.
What I am having a hard time dealing with is the e-mails. Inevitably, it is via e-mail. People noticing the decline in enrollment, understanding what that is going to mean for them. Realizing, in many cases, that their classes might not run. Probably will not run. And they are sending me e-mails telling me about the bills they will not be able to pay. Telling me that they will lose their house or their apartment, make their children give up their after school activities. They are asking me what I can do for them. How I can help them. Reminding me of all their skills. Of all their wonderful qualifications.
It makes me so sad. I really, I feel like crying. I wish I was Greta, so I could write a beautiful poem about it.