"It's not the honors and the prizes and the fancy outsides of life which ultimately nourish our souls. It's the knowing that we can be trusted, that we never have to fear the truth, that the bedrock of our very being is good stuff." (Fred Rogers)

August 2016

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Wednesday, April 13th, 2016 11:14 pm
(Crossposted from LiveJournal)

The Distracted Woman's Daybook
(idea based on one by Peggy Hostetler; concept revision by Angie Brennan; other changes are mine)

my 'Mad Men Yourself' iconIn my front yard... Spring has more or less sprung. First we had some warm days that came early enough to be called "unseasonable." These were followed by a period of cold and blustery days that has lasted long enough for *that* weather to qualify as unseasonable! Now we're being teased with frost in the a.m. and moments of warmth in the afternoon. And somewhere in there, the Man's never-to-be-eradicated tulip bulbs managed to start sprouting. The leaves (shoots?) have broken through the ground, but the flowers have not arrived yet. Meanwhile, my grass has starting growing -- not much, mind you, but enough to make the shaggy patches shaggy.

Around the house... is clutter, in the form of student papers (to be graded) and unprocessed junk mail (to be recycled). Hoping to clear out most of the backlog this weekend. *says that every weekend*

In the kitchen... this week, my oven caught fire! There was a pizza in it at the time. The pizza did not catch fire. We learned, however, that smoked pizza is not very tasty.

I am pondering... loyalty. A week ago Monday, College #1 published a Fall schedule of courses which didn't include my name -- and *that* was how I found out, after 22 years of employment, that I might not be returning for another semester. Seriously. There was no personal notification at all (if a friend hadn't noticed the schedule and sent me an email asking what was going on, I might have traipsed along for weeks not realizing the school wasn't offering my usual slate of courses). Obviously, then, there was no explanation (I couldn't tell whether the college was tired of me in particular, was making deep cuts due to tight finances, or was up to something else entirely).

Instead of the usual adjunct faculty names, the schedule listed mostly "TBA"s in the Instructor slots, and when I immediately emailed Schedule Guy (who knows my situation) to ask whether I could expect my name to be filling in any of those slots, I was stonewalled ("all hiring decisions will be made in May"). Now, I realize that the college doesn't exist solely to employ me, but you've gotta admit that there were MUCH better ways that the administration could have handled this -- presuming, as I like to think one could, that anyone in the chain of command at this institution cares at all whether those adjuncts who are their families' breadwinners would be able to afford food and shelter come Fall. How about, say, emailing us a warning back in January, when there still would have been time for a person to put out feelers to other colleges that might still have been looking for adjuncts to fill *their* Fall schedules? By now, those colleges have finalized their offerings.

One of the courses I teach at this possibly-soon-to-be-former employer of mine is Business Ethics, and the way the college has handled this situation puts me in mind of various case studies I routinely use to illustrate Bad Employer Behavior. If 22 years of continuous employment doesn't make a person a stakeholder at an institution, I don't know what would. And yet I feel I was treated as a thing rather than as a person.

At the end of last week, after being unable to secure an appointment with the Dean, I wrote an impassioned email to Schedule Guy's supervisor (who is the closest thing I have to a Department Head). Far from stonewalling me, *he* actually seems sympathetic to my plight, and wants to talk. However, there may be little he can do for me. I have two other jobs that I'm already committed to and whose hours were established around my expected hours at College #1. Unless what he finds to offer me is "the usual," I probably can't accept it.

I am hoping... that a miracle happens and they can accommodate me at College #1 after all. Otherwise, I can't afford to work at College #2, either, since I'll need all my weekdays available for a regular 9-to-5 job (she says, as if confident that there were one waiting with her name on it).

I am learning... hard lessons.

I am thankful for... how tough I have been made by what happened six years ago. I mean, sure, I'm very concerned about my employment situation right now, and more than a bit outraged at the college's behavior. But I'm basically okay. It's as if the Man's desertion has inoculated me against a certain level of pain, maybe by burning out a percentage of my pain receptors. I'm upset, but not hurt -- you might even say I'm able to be "philosophical" about it, in a way that I was (and remain) unable to be about my marriage.

I am wearing... work clothes. Black skirt & teal faux twinset, long-sleeved.

I am creating... nothing much at the moment.

I am going... to see a good friend whom I only meet up with every few years, in two weeks' time. Very excited.

I am reading... ummm ... nothing, at the moment, except for student work.

I've been watching... too much TV, which is probably why I'm not reading and am still behind on grading. NCIS, Elementary, and assorted sitcoms fill my idle hours.

I've been listening to... Hamilton, and occasionally Newsies (movie version). Also, the odd bit of Christian radio, but only because I have to. Oh, and I'm back to getting my daily dose of NPR. Despite all the depressing political "news," I feel I can't afford to be uninformed in the run-up to an election.

One of my favorite things... is baseball. The home team started its season with seven straight wins, so it's hard not to be a little jazzed right now. Ah, Spring, when everything is still possible.

I am looking forward to... summer, though not as much if I lose my job at College #1, because then I'll have to spend the whole thing job-hunting, which will mean weeks of stress and rejection instead of catching up with chores and sleep. As long as I'm not being paid during those months, I'd just as soon not be miserable during those months.

My plans for the rest of the week... are to see the endocrinologist (I'm a year overdue for my check-up), to grade papers, and to DO MY TAXES!!!!!

A quote for today... "The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD." (Job 1:21)

Here is a picture I am sharing with you... from Facebook. I don't usually propagate memes (esp. not if a cat picture is involved), but this was a math one. Enjoy!

Fibonacci meme

Thursday, April 14th, 2016 10:16 pm (UTC)
I have always seen business ethics as an oxymoron, and your experience with the business that is College #1 seems to confirm this. My own employer has the same attitude to adjuncts - they're completely expendable and years of service count for nothing. I am on the clerical side, rather than the intelligentsia, but I am very aware of the risk of being in a position which is anything except "essential". I'll put up with my boring, low-paid, but secure job rather than risk redundancy in an organisation where dollars are the only item on the bottom line. Good luck. You never know, their best made plans might go awry and they may have to beg you to come back.
Friday, April 15th, 2016 09:51 am (UTC)
Eeek, I'm sorry that College 1 are being so ghastly, and I hope that clarity - preferably the positive kind - comes soon.