Tuesday, March 26, 2013

More on an adjunct’s life in academia

Alex Kudera's Fight for Your Long Day: an academic novel offers an Everyman for the new American economy” (http://chronicle.com/article/Considering-Adjunct-Misery/138085/?cid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en).

This Novel offers a view of the world of an adjunct in a way that is not often fully seen.

 “It is about Cyrus Duffleman, a depressed, saggy, almost-40 adjunct who makes, he calculates, about $10 an hour teaching courses to disengaged—and sometimes mentally ill—students at universities all over Philadelphia”.

I have written about this topic before, and will of course continue to do so as time goes on; the life of a professional adjunct is not easy. It is full of uncertainty, long distances, under appreciation, and sometimes desperation, held only together by a love of teaching.

“Kudera was an adjunct in Philadelphia from 1998 to 2007, so the novel is an exposé and manifesto in the muckraking tradition, but it also has strong absurdist elements. In an e-mail Kudera wrote, "Cyrus has incredible feelings of inadequacy, marginality, deep-seated feelings of failure, based in part on the conditions surrounding him—the society that dictates he must work 12 or more hours a day and is not worthy of decent health coverage or pay, and that he is supposed to be grateful for this exhausting life” (http://chronicle.com/article/Considering-Adjunct-Misery/138085/?cid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en).

Even if you do not read the book, try to appreciate your adjuncts. They are the glue that holds together much of today’s university instruction, they are human with all the usual human frailties, yet they are almost superhuman in their time management skills and drive to teach.

Hug and say thank you to an adjunct today!

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

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