Day 23: Rush hour.

Being an adjunct professor is a challenging way to make a living earn a paycheck, emphasis on meager. But at least there are some perks that come with the underpaid-and-overworked trope. The schedule is flexible and it changes often enough so that even a bad schedule will be over in 15 weeks.

I’ve played my cards right so far and managed to avoid Fridays for a year, and I haven’t seen a classroom at 9 a.m. in longer than that.

Until this semester. Adjuncts can only get dealt the high cards for so long. I knew that I would eventually have to play my pair of deuces.

My first class this semester was at 9 a.m. on Tuesday morning. This meant driving to work in rush hour traffic. It did not go well. Here’s what I wish it looked like:

An adjunct in an Austin-Healey? In her dreams! No, really, I do kind of dream about it.

An adjunct in an Austin-Healey? In her dreams! No, really, I do kind of dream about it.

But instead, there were far too many cars on the track highway:

Now imagine about 50 times more cars, all of them about 50 times uglier than these.

Now imagine about 50 times more cars, all of them about 50 times uglier than these.

And many of these happened, causing both delays and intense soreness in my clutch foot as I repeatedly switched between 1st and 2nd gears:

“Do you see how many people are going to be late for work because you were texting?”

My students had a grumpy teacher for their first class – at least the start of it. But it might work in my favor. A little fear of grumpy authority will do them good, motivate them to get their homework in on time and study harder for tests, right? Right?

Maybe it won’t be so bad. I only have to deal with rush hour three times a week this semester, so it could be worse. And I could be facing it for the next 15 years instead of 15 weeks. Most of the time, traffic is busy but moving. It’s not always going to kill my gas mileage and wear out my clutch. And just because it took me over an hour to drive into school to teach a 50-minute class, it doesn’t mean I’ll get stress acne or wish I’d brought a hip flask to school with me.

These are not little lies I have to keep telling myself to have the guts to go back out there tomorrow.

Really. No, honestly, I swear. True story.

*All the pictures are from the Pentax and were taken in Sept. 2012 at the Lime Rock Vintage Festival. Buzz and I don’t go every year, but we do like to see the races when we can. I just finished scanning the color rolls on Monday.

 

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8 comments on “Day 23: Rush hour.

  1. Lenore Diane says:

    I like the pictures very much, but I am refraining from ‘liking’ the post due stress. 🙂

    • limr says:

      It is a funny thing, isn’t it? Someone posts an article on Facebook about some awful scandal, or writes a post about their childhood trauma, and we all “Like” it. We’re really good at loading up our word guns. We rely on that one button to say “I like what you wrote” or “I like how you wrote this” or “I like that you wrote this, even though the content contains things that I shouldn’t like” or…who knows what else we mean when we “like” something?

      And it’s still different from liking liking something 😉

      • Lenore Diane says:

        Leonore, the ‘like’ button on Facebook is one of my pet peeve. I cannot stand it when someone “likes” a post that is about a tragedy, trauma, or some unpleasantness. How hard is it to write out your thoughts? When I’ve posted a tragic status, I’ve specifically included, “Please do not ‘like’ this status update.” Drives me nuts.

    • limr says:

      Of course, now I’m reminded of a scene from Mystery Science Theater 3000 – have you ever watched one of those movies? Here’s the clip that I’m thinking of from Prince of Space

  2. Oh dear, I shouldn’t be laughing (it’s the hip flask thing)! I also loathe early morning classes, and have been late on several occasions this term because I missed a bus or my train was delayed. It makes me grumpy too… Bon courage! I’m sure that you’ll end up finding some compensation somewhere!

    • limr says:

      So far, one good thing is that my evening class has only 14 students, which is SO great it terms of lightening my grading load this semester! I guess that’s a little bit of compensation? I could avoid the worst of it if I just left earlier, which I will get used to doing after a couple of weeks, but it’s just brutal for a night owl like me. As hard as it is to get up in the morning, it’s even harder to force myself into bed early so I can at least try to make the morning a bit easier to deal with.

      Oh well. It’s not my best schedule, but at least it’s only 15 weeks. I can put up with a lot of crap if I know it’ll end after 15 weeks 🙂

  3. […] couple of weeks ago. I scanned the color film first, and shared a few pictures of Lime Rock here on Day 23. While I was pleased with the overall composition, the colors were a bit washed out for my liking. […]

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