Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Tale of Two CCs

I'm working for two different community colleges this semester. The experiences are... distinct...


CC #1: Borked. Five different logins, none chosen by me, for the Banner, the webmail (NOT on Banner), D2L, campus network, and some other damned thing that I haven't even figured out yet. Banner is misconfigured. D2L is frequently down. Tech support is even more contemptuous and hostile than usual.

CC#2: Adequate. Logins for Banner and D2L, as well as for campus network, but the latter is chosen by me (and chosen to be the same as for Banner). Banner seems well-configured. D2L is up and running most of the time. Tech support shows only  the expected levels of apathy and anger.


CC#1: High school kids, regardless of age. Was told by a fellow adjunct that the school is referred to by the students as "[local high school name] continued." Nice kids, but really not on board with the whole "take responsibility for your own education" thing yet.

CC#2: A mix of maturity levels, though in general better than at the other school. A few duds and one who is obsessed with getting a 'study sheet'. She's going to be disappointed.


CC#1: Immediate boss just got tenure last year. Still twitchy. Emails me almost daily asking how things are going, reminding me to do this and that, and so on. Stiff, difficult to talk to. Seemingly insecure about the prestige of his grad program vis-a-vis mine, which I wouldn't have thought twice about if he hadn't mentioned it three times in the interview.

CC#2: Dean of the department, rather than just senior man in a given subject-area within that dept. Awesome dude. Decades of experience, totally easy-going. Nicest person in the world, quick to answer emails, and likes shooting the bull.


CC#1: I am directly answerable to four different deans, deanlets, and directors. I have to administer college-wide "learning-effectiveness" quizzes to my classes at the beginning and end of the semester, consent to be observed by one of the deans, and put up with weekly emails from two others exhorting me to use the schools fancy technology in my lessons. Two of the four have never been in a classroom - they came from the bureaucracy.

CC#2: The President started as an adjunct and worked his way up to tenure-track faculty before going admin. My dean, mentioned above, was regular faculty. I don't answer to anyone but the one dean, and they trust me to do my job as I see fit.


CC#1: Support staff are nice, but disorganized. I'll have been teaching for two and half months before I pick up my first paycheck - and the woman in charge of delivering that news told me that's how it is every semester for adjuncts.

CC#2: Nothing but helpful, and right on top of it, too. I have my own mailbox in a large workspace devoted just for adjunct use, with networked computers, a copy machine, a fridge, and a microwave. And they pay on time.


At CC#2, I'm not even teaching in my primary area of expertise. The classes I am teaching are generic "humanities" courses of a kind that many institutions don't even offer, so they aren't real useful on my CV, and the time spent prepping them - though fun - does nothing to advance my knowledge of my actual field. And there is no need whatsoever at that institution for someone to teach the kinds of classes I actually trained to teach.

At CC#1, I'm actually teaching in my field, and I enjoy the subject matter, at that (even if the books my boss selected are sort of lightweight and fluffy). And they are expanding their offerings in the subject, too.

Oh, yeah - CC#1 has already asked me back for next semester.



  1. Back in the day at Wolf 359, a library staff person had emailed payroll over the fact that 6 weeks had passed and still no paycheck. Paychecks are supposed to come every 2 weeks for them, so this was an obvious problem.

    Oddly enough, yours truly received a group email from a payroll administrator requesting that "we look into this". Somehow, I had ended up on his distribution list.

    Even odder, said library staff member felt the need to apologize to payroll for bothering them with this.

    1. You know, thinking back over some of your posts, I wonder if we're acquainted under other names. Do any blogging, EMH?

    2. Guess not, then. Ah, well. I'll enjoy your mathematical (and holographic!) stylings here, then!

  2. Of course CC#1 wants you back; you're the only sane person around on a twitchy, nervous campus. :)