Happy July! We begin the back side of the year in July. The first half has gone by so quickly that my head is almost in a spin. Some of the grands are staying with us for the summer and perhaps that is why the time is flying so quickly. From the time I get up to the time I go to bed, there is not much rest. Swimming, golfing, tennis, church, camps and going for walks along with gardening keep us all busy.
We have the surviving kittens on the front porch, the pooch on the back porch, and the yard to mow. Like many others, we practically move outside in the summers. I cook outside as much as possible on the days I decide to cook and Hubby and I sit outside in the evenings visiting and catching up with our daily events. I go out on the back porch in the early mornings for some quiet time between hubs leaving for work and the kids waking up.
The little plastic “wicker” chair is my throne. It has a nifty pull-out foot rest for my tootsies and I can read or dream away the few minutes I have at the beginning of each day. I watch the squirrels run along the fence and scratch on the big cats if they deign to stop and visit. And it is a nice way to begin the day before the towels somehow all end up in a heap in front of the washer and dryer. Before the carefully swept kitchen is inundated with small pizza makers dripping cheese all over the floor.
From my wicker throne I conduct much of the daily business of running a household. I settle disputes. I conduct great lectures on behavior and sass. I can slather on sunscreen while they squat in front of me and give detailed instructions on how to fill out college applications. I console and give kisses while diagnosing mosquito bites and removing splinters.
The porch life is good and I am enjoying it but recently I got the bug to return to teaching others how to write. I perused the different colleges within driving range and found out that there were a few opportunities for part time, or adjunct, work. I am not particularly fond of adjunct work but I thought it might be OK as I wanted to retain my position on the porch along with my daily tennis efforts. In my searching I found an opportunity at the small college where my oldest teen will be attending in the fall. Perfect!
I called and applied online. I filled out all kinds of paperwork attesting to my citizenship, my ability to work, my credentials, and my philosophies. I waited for a bit and then finally decided that it wasn’t meant to be. Last week I got a call to set up the interview. I was hired to teach two writing classes. Nothing fancy, just basic writing. I shared the news with my teen and she was excited that I might be on campus at the same time in the fall.
We discussed our different work schedules and how she was going to continue working after school begins in the fall. We thought about going on a shopping spree but I am only going to teach two courses and she is saving her money so we decided that we might not go shopping just yet. I am excited about getting back into the classroom and interacting with students. I have been mentally planning different things I can do to encourage the students and move them towards greater things.
I had my “new hire” meeting and ordered official transcripts. While visiting the campus, I decided to be bold and ask about the pay grade for adjunct teachers. I thought, surely, that it would be more than when I was in graduate school and I would be OK with the amount. Besides, I was getting to teach others about the very thing I enjoy so much – writing. I would get to meet new people and be refreshed. And then the HR lady told me what the pay grade actually was. I wept.
I will begin work one month from today. I have a Ph.D. and if I count my hours teaching, grading, answering e-mails, commenting on Moodle, and creating new ways to engage my students, my high school Senior will actually make more money than I do working at the Dry Cleaners.
I am going to need HUGE amounts of time in my wicker throne to reconcile this thought.
HUGE amounts. I might not cook again this summer.