The Lonely Life of an Adjunct Professor


Last semester, I taught a class at a local seminary. The class met on Thursday nights. After the first week of class, I received a one-line email from the dean, asking me how everything was going. And a month after the class, I received another email asking how everything went. Other than that, I didn’t hear from anyone on the faculty. I didn’t meet anyone on the faculty; I wasn’t even greeted by anyone. I did receive emails from the support staff with attendance sheets and asking for grades, but that was it.

Last summer, I sent a query to another seminary for which I’d taught online courses for three years. Would they be needing me this year? Nope. Budgets are tight.

And this semester, I’m teaching at a state university. So far it’s great fun. But last week when I was walking toward the classroom, the professor who teaches in the room before me turned off the lights and locked the door — he had no idea I was there as a professor. A grad student let me in the room so that I could teach.

I’ve chosen the life of the adjunct professor, so I’m not crying in my beer here. I have deliberately avoided the life of a regular faculty member because I hate hate hate the politics of the academy, I hate committee work, and I don’t really want a job with that much commitment required. I’d rather be a freelance theologian, with all of the freedom and pressure that entails.

Nevertheless, I am not unaffected by the loneliness of the adjunct role. I do wish that there was camaraderie with other faculty. My qualifications are just as good as theirs, even if I don’t get health insurance and a parking pass from the institution.

More and more, colleges, universities, and grad schools are using adjunct faculty — they’re doing it to save money. And I think that more and more academics will choose the path I’ve chosen, to be independent from the publish-or-perish environment of institutional life. It’d be great if the schools that use us adjuncts could think seriously about how to weave us into the fabric of their faculty.

Meanwhile, some adjunct professors are telling their students not to call them “Professor” as a protest against their working conditions.

I know that a lot of seminary and college professors and administrators read this blog. What are your thoughts about us adjuncts?

  • http://www.terrymichaelnewell.com Terry-Michael Newell

    As an adjunct myself, I feel the same way some days, although I do get a parking pass. The life of an adjunct is preferable for me as well, but I agree that the camaraderie would be welcomed. For me, I thought the use of the library would be a bonus until I was locked out of the faculty study.

  • http://www.culturemonk.com Kenneth Justice

    I’ve taught two classes in my brief tenure as an aspiring academic and what amazed me both times is the total autonomy I had over my students; once i passed the various prerequisites in order to teach, those in authority over me left me all alone for the entire semester. I could pretty much say/or do anything I dang well wanted (as long as no student reported me).

    Its strange how there is practically no oversight whatsoever from the powers that be.

    It was pretty much the same experience when I was a college student; my professors, whether adjunct or faculty, seemed to be like little gods in the classroom accountable to no one with the all consuming power to do however they please.

  • http://faithoncampus.com Guy Chmieleski

    As someone who works for a university in the field of campus ministry, and has taught adjunct myself, I feel that maybe I have a unique position from which to speak.

    It seems to me that those of us on the “outside,” in this case us adjuncts, should be on the receiving end of being pursued, welcomed, and continually reached out to by those on the “inside.” And while this might happen in some contexts, I think that more often than not this is not the case. Instead, it requires that those of us who are not on the inside to take the initiative — which to some degree seems counter-intuitive, and even awkward. But we need to reach out to the Dean — and pursue a relationship there. If there are particular faculty that we’d like to connect with — we need to pursue those relationships.

    Most of us know how easy it can be, when working at a full-time anything, how it easy it can be to eventually put things on “autopilot.” In other instances, it feels like all we can do to keep up, and so we simply put our heads down and muscle through it — dealing with those things that are before us (or put themselves before us). Is this the way that it should be? No, I don’t think so. But in most contexts it is the reality.

    I have found — having worked on 4 different campuses now — that MOST faculty, or individuals from other offices on campus, are not opposed to these kinds of relationships. But unless there is a culture that has been intentionally created to draw in and esteem the “outsiders,” then it won’t just happen. We’ll need to be the pursuers of relationships — and hopefully the catalyst for a change to the homeostasis of those environments.

    • Nick the Nevermet

      Guy – I hope I won’t come across as argumentative by asking this, but could you explain a bit about why those on the inside (those with full-time academic positions) should reach out to those outside? I ask because I can think of maybe 4 different answers, but I didn’t want to put words in your mouth.

  • Nick the Nevermet

    As a sociologist who just did his dissertation on the use of adjuncts in American higher education (who has also spent plenty of time as an adjunct), yeah, gigantic problem. That Inside Higher Ed article is pretty good, though. The dramatic rise of the adjunct over the last few decades has started to change lots of elements in higher ed, and people are re-thinking tons of assumptions (“should adjuncts get tenure?”, “How long can I be an adjunct before it ruins my prospects on the job market”, etc.). One of the core things right now, which is related to the loneliness that Tony mentioned, is that adjunct work is often very alienating for aspiring academics – those who want full-time (and ideally tenure-track) jobs. As an adjunct, one is reminded constantly that you are not really in the club. For people who are not aspiring academics (retirees, people who do it for fun or a little money on the side, etc.) can actually find it rewarding sometimes… but that doesn’t removes the questions of whether it is exploitative, and how much can a college rely on adjuncts.

  • Craig

    I wonder if the problem of loneliness and alienation will be soothed by the increase in your numbers. Maybe adjuncts will form their own associations, and throw better parties. When the tenured profs wants to join the fun, they’ll feel a little out-of-place and be expected to foot the bill (as when Bill Gates tries to join the younger software engineers for dinner out).

  • Dan Hauge

    As someone who is contemplating becoming an adjunct in the future, I’d like to ask the group: what about sustainability? Can one make a decent living just being an adjunct? I know that Tony has some other streams of income to supplement, just wondering what the economics of this new reality are.

    • http://tonyj.net Tony Jones

      No, one cannot live on $3400 per semester. Even if you double that it’s unsustainable.

      • Craig

        That’s what they’re paying you! Can I pay you $3500 to prepare and present to me 35 private lectures, and then spend a shitload of time editing my papers? There’s free parking on my curb.

    • Nick the Nevermet

      That depends on a lot of different issues, including your field, how many colleges are nearby, and what they are like. I know 1 college where Math adjuncts make $5,000 a semester, and if they teach 2 courses, they get healthcare. That means a 3/3 load is a $30K job with benefits, which isn’t too bad.

      ….But that isn’t the norm. As that Inside Higher Ed article says, the average nationwide is $2700 per course per semester, generally without benefits. Professional fields or STEM fields might offer more money if the college in question allows departments to set different rates of pay (some have university-wide standards). Then there’s the problem that there is no guarantee of work. If there isn’t a demand for English 101 next semester, you don’t get rehired (but they’ll be sure to keep you in mind for the future).

      • Chad

        Not getting re-hired is the problem we’re having right now. My wife had been teaching two courses a semester for the past year, but suddenly enrollment is down and now they don’t need her. Now she’s substitute teaching at $80 a day to try and make up some of that lost income.

    • http://www.andrewthompson.com Andrew C. Thompson

      No, working as an adjunct is not sustainable as a full-time job. At least not at any of the institutions where I’ve studied or taught. It isn’t just the low pay; it’s also the lack of healthcare, retirement, etc.

  • https://twitter.com/teerhardy Teer Hardy

    As the husband of an adjunct professor, I 100% understand the lack of recognition as a colleague from full-time faculty. However, could the lack of recognition be because the full-time faculty assume adjuncts do not have a vested interest in the institution? Meaning, they know you are only there for the short-term?

    Just some thoughts.

    • https://twitter.com/teerhardy Teer Hardy

      Allison use to get crap from campus security about not being a “professor” because she was not a regular on campus. A full-time professor from another department tried to report her to security for parking her car in faculty spots.

      • http://www.allisonlonghardy.com Allison Long Hardy

        Tony,

        I totally feel you! I’ve been an adjunct for three years now, driving all over creation, to multiple universities/colleges to work. It’s a rough life, especially when you don’t get the respect you deserve. It’s difficult to appear dedicated when you are given limited courses and significantly less pay than full-timers for the same amount of work. I’ve actually had students tell me that I wasn’t a “real” professor and other faculty members tell me I wasn’t “old enough” to be anywhere a credible authority figure in academia. However, I find the longer you are around, it does get better. Once you make yourself known to the Dean/Chair/Provost you are sort of more established and start to move up the adjunct ladder. With more experience at a singular institution you get more class time, which increases you pay, which in turn, makes you more of a presence in the life of your department. I guess, it’s the whole “paying your dues” thing.

        Allison

  • Stephen Hood

    I teach as an adjunct. It has allowed me to supplement my income in a down economy. I enjoy teaching and working with the students and it fulfills a goal of mine to teach at the college level. Serving as an adjunct is perfect for me although the other adjuncts and I may be undercutting the aspiring academic who hopes to make a living as a full-time professor. As a full time parish pastor I am a bit underemployed to the extent that I have academic training and skills that are rarely utilized in the parish whereas teaching at the college gives me an opportunity to use these skills. I wonder if the explosion in the use of adjuncts is less a reflection of tighter budgets and more an result of the explosion of people with advanced degrees available to fill these type of jobs. I don’t get paid that well although I am paid fairly.

    I have connected with the regular faculty during continuing education events and through other avenues. I don’t know that I have had a need to be included although I understand Tony’s desire to connect with others and that connection is often missing in these types of jobs. The dean of our college invites the adjunct faculty to meetings several times a year, so I don’t feel totally on my own. At the same time I recognize that I am not an insider as far as the full-time faculty is concerned.

  • http://achurchunbound.com Joel

    I adjuncted at a small community college in Colorado teaching beginning composition while I finished my MA in English. My first term was a summer term, I was assigned one course, and after two meetings it was dropped due to low enrollment. The chair of the department told me I just had to “play the game” if I wanted to get better courses. I understood that. Adjuncting is based on seniority, etc.–I had no complaint about that. During the second year of my program, while I had teaching responsibilities at the university I was attending on top of taking a full load of courses and writing a thesis, I agreed to take on two sections at the CC even though I originally insisted I only wanted one. The chair told me if I helped him out by taking on two, it would go a long way for assignments the following summer. So I taught two sections both terms of my second year of my MA program, and when summer came around, I was offered three sections–all at obscure times and all were dropped due to low enrollment after a couple meetings. I called the chair, and his response was to just continue to “play the game.” Being a naive mid-20 something, I was incensed, and I promptly left the English teacher world, went to seminary, and worked in a church–where the loneliness and unbearable politics persisted!

    Still, my experience taught me that just going out and becoming an adjunct as your primary profession is probably not that wise and is certainly a difficult road, especially in the beginning when you’re at the bottom of the barrel. So to answer Dan’s question: go bi-vocational. I just started in a PhD program this year, and I’m already trying to think outside the box in terms of jobs. A tenure track position would be fantastic, but I feel I have to be open to the possibility that a bi-vocational career path is going to be best or only option for me.

  • http://www.andrewthompson.com Andrew C. Thompson

    I understand the sense of frustration, but my sense is that the kind of trade-off you are describing is unavoidable and probably appropriate. And along those lines, your suggestion about integrating adjunct instructors into the full faculty is misplaced. A lot of this comes from the nature of what a “faculty” actually is. The faculty is the school, in the truest sense. Faculty not only teach; they advise a body of students in an ongoing way, govern the institution via the committee structure, and carry out a whole host of auxiliary functions to support the institution’s life. As a free-lance theologian who does work-for-hire at a number of institutions, you don’t have those responsibilities; as you state yourself, you don’t want them. Adjunct instructors are not faculty members, and they should not be considered as such. That’s not intended to be harsh, but it is intended to recognize the relative commitment and responsibility that various categories of people have to a given institution. (One could think of analogies in various types of institutions where some work is done by outside people on a freelance basis who are not part of the core membership of the institution.)

  • Lee Ramsey

    Mr Jones, I think I understand the demands and pressures of being an adjunct, and I can certainly imagine that loneliness is part of the experience.
    The further issue of how educational institutions are “using” adjuncts for cheaper and potentially expendable labor is a monumental issue that needs to be tackled by adjuncts and full-time faculty together. No-one “wins” when anyone is exploited, even if, in this case, the adjunct chooses to accept the potentially exploitative conditions of being a part-time, low wage earner within the academy, who provides all the same goods and services required of a full-time faculty member, at least when it comes to course related content, presentation, and response.
    But this kind of market logic is the very thing that undercuts the humane interactions that you wish were more a part of the adjunct experience for teachers. Because you are able and willing to be a type of contract provider for the institution that will hire you, there is no real stake for you towards the institution and vice versa. Why should the institution or its full time faculty members actually seek you out for comraderie, support, mutual learning, and all the other things that make academic work enjoyable, if, by your own admission you do not want to take on any of the drudgery (committee work, academic politics) that is part and parcel of institutional life? In that very life together, often replete with drudgery, but striving for common goals and missional action, we discover camaraderie and community. I can’t for the life of me figure out how anyone, not just peripatetic adjunct teachers, can actually expect to know and experience community and collegiality and the many other benefits gained by a life bound together with others unless one is actually willing to bind their life together with others. Not just all others, or some others, but these others, these people in a particular place and time who are working, living, praying, sweating, loving, and worshipping together as an — yes, I have to say it — institution. Maybe there can be camaraderie among other adjuncts who seem to have responded in force to your post, and if so, I say all the best and all the more, as we all struggle with our vocational and institutional identities.

  • http://www.banditsnomore.com Richard H

    After years of adjuncting I began a full time teaching job a year ago. The HBCU at which I teach emphasizes teaching over publishing and our load 5/5 reflects that. Benefits are offered to us full timers, but if I were to insure my family through the school’s offer it would cost over half my salary. (And we all have to buy our own parking permits.) Adjuncts here (and places where I served previously) are not paid very well – under $2k per course. In our department at least, we have a good working relationship with our current adjuncts. They are invited to join in departmental meetings, consulted in departmental decision making, etc.

  • Kelly Lamon

    Hey Tony,

    You should look at moving from being an adjunct professor to an academic staff position (or teaching professor). Some institutions differentiate the two. Much is the same in terms of workload. But academic staff positions are more stable, and typically, you are seen as a ‘true’ member of the instructional unit. Don’t be disillusioned about the perks, most faculty and staff (and many admin) have to pay for their own parking, and benefits still cost us an arm and leg. Can’t complain about retirement. But I hear you, your frustration is more about camaraderie, which is really important in a system that is suppose value collaboration and sharing of ideas. (Is this an analogy for the church?) I’m wishing you a home, because there is nothing better than creating a formative experience for others. Hoping the undergrads are treating you well.

  • Dan Hauge

    Thanks for all the responses re: pay and sustainability. That’s pretty much what I figured. But which raises what I think is a deeper point: as more universities are increasingly looking to adjuncts to teach their courses, just what does it say about higher academics in general that we no longer see teaching as a vocation worthy of full time salary and benefits? How will that affect the overall quality of education?

    • http://www.andrewthompson.com Andrew C. Thompson

      Dan, I think you are raising the right questions. It really drives at what is happening to education generally. Technology, both in terms of pedagogy generally and online-based education more specifically, is dramatically changing what it means to “get an education.” It is becoming commoditized (if it isn’t there already), and I think that is not a good sign for scholars who see what they do as among the most important contributions that professionals anywhere make to society. It isn’t the only problem that higher education has got, but it is one of the larger ones.

  • Glen

    Too bad you didn’t have a staff member in your class, even as an auditor; that may have helped. They could have raised the issue, maybe still could. You’d expect more from a seminary. Oh, you did? Never mind….. (that loser.)

  • pgregory70

    I’m an associate professor in sociology in the Midwest. I can tell you that one issue is simply time. Each semester I teach 3 classes, coordinate our dept’s student internship program (about 27 students per yr), serve on 3 committees and advise 45 students. I also continue to conduct research and publish. One of my comm assignments is head of the dept social committee. With 18 fulltime and adj. Faculty, its honestly really hard to spend much time together (not impossible, just hard). We try to do 3 to 4 major events per year. I can tell you that we are trying to increase our time spent together though.

  • pgregory70

    Actually internship program consists of about 80 students (27 for 3 semesters)

  • Pat

    I do enjoy adjunct teaching but it would be nice to be included in some way in certain discussions, even if in a non-voting capacity. After all, we are teaching and interacting with students. I would think our feedback on some things would be desired. Otherwise, they can just take me off the distribution list announcing their staff meetings.

  • bob c

    Higher education is in the midst of a shift that rivals what has taken place in healthcare. Over the last 30-40 years, the rate of what some we have seen industries completely remade has spiked. This is something the Austrian American economist Joseph Schumpete termed creative destruction, adapted from Karl Marx. In hindsight, these transformations seem to have been inevitable; at the time, however, most leaders in these fields never saw the changes coming.

    What is going on in higher ed in many ways mirrors how internet and bloggers have upended the business model of traditional media. The most obvious parallel is online education, which in many cases is changing the entire relationship between student and teacher – like the shifts in creators and audiences. Both blogs and online education can enable information to be transferred, and engagement to be monitored, at a fraction of conventional costs.

    Reading your post, it made me think of the countless adjunct jokes I have heard working in and around higher ed for the last 25 years. Most revolve around the idea that anyone can be an adjunct. There ought to be an app for that, right – an app that allows anyone to “ordan” themselves as an adjunct.

    Imagine that world – where all of us realize our authorship, the mediahood of all posters, where everyone could teach what they know in a temporary or auxiliary capacity. IMHO, that is the world we live in right now. It can be scary, even jarring. The transitions in that world are asymmetrical and often dangerous. On a personal level, this period is often lonely, even desert-like in many way.

  • Mary

    I didn’t experience that loneliness as an adjunct in the art department at a 4 year university. I was teaching 4 courses- more than the average prof. with lots of interaction. Of course, art professors are already misfits : ) , and there were still some “attitudes”, not to mention the low pay. BUT I found it MUCH worse as an adjunct at a 2 year community college… perhaps because the tenure-track guys already had an inferiority complex because of where they teach. I resonate with Bob C in some ways. I just see more changes coming, the need and exploitation of more adjuncts (they can hire 3 or more adjuncts, w/o bennies for the cost of 1 tenured person). Ah capitalism —ain’t it grand!

  • http://www.kellyjyoungblood.com Kelly J Youngblood

    I’ve been thinking about this since you posted it and trying to reflect on my experience, which is a bit different. In my last job, I was paid 10 hours per week to be the campus ministry coordinator (there was no campus pastor, so basically, I was it in duty if not title). I wasn’t required to do any additional stuff (really, how could I at 10 hours per week anyway?) and even though I did attend some staff meetings on a semi-regular basis just to keep up with what is going on around other parts of campus, it definitely is a lonely feeling of not being fully connected. And this was at a place where I knew most of the faculty and staff because I’d lived in the town for a few years and had worked at the college in another capacity when I’d first moved there. I’m not sure what the answer is, but I think that those who are FT just simply don’t think about the people who are PT–which is more of a failing of character (not that they are bad people, mind you, just that they aren’t thinking about other people), rather than a failing of policies of including/excluding PT people. I think many FT people are so burdened with extra work that there just isn’t time to think about others, unfortunately. One professor I knew was a FT professor, Dept Chair, on 3 (?) different committees, plus weekly (?) faculty meetings, and was the assistant hockey coach. So–not much time to think about being open and welcoming to an adjunct (unless the adjunct is in his department). One thing I noticed was that it was at those faculty meetings where faculty members seemed to really get to know each other better, so perhaps adjuncts should be more encouraged to attend them? I know budgets are always an issue, but maybe they could have 2 adjunct rates–one you get if you want to attend meetings and one you get if you don’t.

  • Loren Whetsell

    I’ve been an adjunct for 15 years now with the same institution. I have taught on campus, itv, and online. I agree with your that the freedom is wonderful. I, too, despise the institutional structure of academia. The loneliness fracture is prevalent, but I like the freedom that goes with it. It was
    Also nice to review in the mail last week a recognition letter, a framed certificate, and a nice stainless steel coaster from the president of the college recognizing my 15 years of loyal service. But how big a contrast his is to the church I serve full-time.

  • http://fidesquaerens.org/ Marta L.

    My main concern with the adjunct job market is for the people who didn’t choose it – who would much prefer to have a full-time post but can’t find one. For people in those situations this kind of job can be quite exploitative in some circumstances. When you compare the salary of someone who teaches (say) an Intro to Old Testament course with a trainer for the football team, it’s more than a bit shameful and also harmful to students, who don’t benefit from having instructors who are a part of their university community.

    Of course it is hard on the instructors, too! Both those who willingly choose the work like you, and my own friends (probably soon to include myself) who teach adjunct courses while waiting to find full-time work in academia. It’s a situation that Christians both in academia and the families of students would do well to take a harder look at.

  • http://donbryant.wordpress.com/ Don Bryant

    I have found that it has to be a hobby of sorts that brings pleasure in the doing of it. That’s about all it gives back. But for me that is a lot, worth doing it now for 17 years. It’s helped out financially, but if that is a bottom life, adjunct work is not the game you want to be in. You find yourself on the “we’ll call you” list, no matter how great the evaluations and how proficient the teaching. Adjuncts fit into the juggernaut of educational capitalism. I am a cost cutting measure!!! But I get to do something I love, and that is not a bad deal for me.

  • Lucas7

    I find your post a bit contradictory and annoying. First you state” I have deliberately avoided the life of a regular faculty member because I hate hate hate the politics of the academy, I hate committee work, and I don’t really want a job with that much commitment required.” but a few paragraphs later you write: “I’ve chosen, to be independent from the publish-or-perish environment of institutional life. It’d be great if the schools that use us adjuncts could think seriously about how to weave us into the fabric of their faculty.”

    I have been both and adjunct faculty and now full-time faculty for many years. I give 110%, advise (hand hold, counsel, refer to support services, etc.) over 50 students, teach 2 classes, place 100 in field experience, run a small research team (by choice, I love my students and enjoy helping them learn), identify career opportunities, guide on career paths, serve on countless committees, attend countless meetings, write too many letters of recommendations to count, manage a number of my teaching assistants, negotiate for limited resources, deal with politics constantly, respond to more random email inquiries and requests than I would like, connect students with and lead significant international research opportunities and trips, collaborate with other faculty on domestic and international projects and know every single student in our program. I also have a healthy and full life outside of work.

    We have quality adjuncts that are always included and I am happy to interact with and others that do their job. Having been in both roles, though, it’s my feeling that you made the choice for the reasons you stated regarding politics, committee work and commitment. You got EXACTLY what you wanted (deserve?). I’m not sure you also earn being “woven into the fabric” by making that choice. Don’t get me wrong, i love my job but there are many responsibilities within this job I do because I have to and I resent someone that’s avoiding all of these, by choice, and still wants all the perks that come with these demands. My job is exhausting and rewarding and I wouldn’t trade in a second but just because you teach 1 or 2 or 3 classes per semester and work hard at those doesn’t earn you the same privileges of full-time faculty that have made that commitment to take the good with the bad.

    It’s not easy being an adjunct, but in part I loved it because I could come and go, I didn’t expect to be the same as a full-time faculty member who was invested, committed and served the university in ways I couldn’t or didn’t want to at the time.

    • http://tonyj.net Tony Jones

      Sorry to annoy you. I meant for my post to be an existential cry, not for you to solve my dilemma. In fact, I opened the post by admitting that I made the bed that I’m now lying in.

  • http://www.dissidentvoice.org Paul Haeder

    Well-well-well. To cut and paste one of several telling paragraphs from your light-winded blog post:

    “I’ve chosen the life of the adjunct professor, so I’m not crying in my beer here. I have deliberately avoided the life of a regular faculty member because I hate hate hate the politics of the academy, I hate committee work, and I don’t really want a job with that much commitment required. I’d rather be a freelance theologian, with all of the freedom and pressure that entails.”

    Hmm, some of us have been teaching at multiple campuses to make a living and to make a difference in the lives of students, and in our own lives. That, I am sorry to say, Tony, is accomplished through inspiring and pissing off students, but also connecting with students’ families, employers, and our own bosses, whether pseudo-deans or administrators or even regents and politicos. That involves being involved in communities. Education is a little bit special, don’t you think? Have you missed that 5,000-year-running message?

    Some of us saw the contingent faculty cadre exploding, growing exponentially back in the early 1980s when some of us started teaching, again, at multiple campuses, in prisons, on military compounds, across international borders, for community education programs, and writing and doing things in the community because we did not want to become part of this endless Diaspora of good folk graduating from colleges where they’d like to teach with dignity and livable wages and benefits who HAVE to leave those communities to find work elsewhere.

    So, that means some of us have spent countless hours reaching out, bugging ADMIN class types, getting political, becoming unionists. We’ve been in crappy local newspapers, banded together and got on radio shows, and we have collectively worked to uplift our students’ lives and our own lives through community participation.

    Some of the 35 comments above in this post are so telling of a diseased group of thinkers who blame the victim, who see some uber-Utopia with technology as savior, who believe that education is about delivering, about connecting and uploading and sim card insertion, about the on-line virtual world of endless communities and virtual social and now education groups. They of course are wrong, and they are part of the problem not solution to education issues and challenges and this current downward slide to oblivion.

    It’s a tired old canard now, really. “We are in the midst of revolutionary and profoundly positive changes thanks to IT, Creative Class and our unending addiction for technology to put us into a 3-D replicator world where sex, food, and shelter can be at our virtual fingertips in a giant intergalactic game of Simulated Humanity is so f-ing far out, let’s do it.”

    It’s bogus, really. Massively Open Online Courses-Work-Life maybe a foregone conclusion in some of your minds, but for some of us, who have been adjuncting and fighting for wages and fairness and an academy that is a cut or two above Walmart and Amazon.dot cum, well, we have heard, seen and experienced it all. And some of us are fighting this MOOC lie.

    I’m not surprised that you did not reach out at this state school and make inroads to challenging your coworkers to know you, to be human and humane, to normalize human relations. Theology, uh? How’s that working out? I’ve been with Sandinista clerics, liberation theologists, with Buddhists, with countless numbers of Muslims, with a plethora of theologically-informed folk in many countries, and your bizarre fear of face-to-face interactions makes sense only on one or two highly dysfunctional levels. Certainly it’s American, North American, USA phenomena. Get a life — push yourself onto your colleagues, your co-workers.

    As far as the tongue-in-cheek comments and those admonitions for adjuncts-precarious-contingents to get real, get real jobs and admit our lowly status, yet, our god-like status, too, they are beyond the time and ire necessary in your comment frame. Interesting you have that many folk following your blog.


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