Thursday, September 6, 2007


I feel a bit like a transient lately, belonging neither here nor there. Two of my classes are late-start, which means right now I'm only on campus to teach for an hour or run copies (or pinch-hit for a couple hours in the writing center), and then I'm gone again. My cubicle hasn't been assigned yet, so I could do like some of the other adjuncts and just commandeer a spot. Perhaps I should, to get to know people a bit better. Heck, I should probably just hang around more, period. I did for a bit last week, just shot the breeze with several other faculty members, exchanging tales from the trenches and speculations on the time-space continuum on campus (it's possible to leave one building at 8:55 and arrive on the other side of campus 10 minutes also works in reverse, to many an instructor's chagrin). It reminded me of the pleasant times in the GA office, swapping tales of what our "little darlings" had done that day. It's both establishment of common ground and light-hearted grousing, always a fun combination. And yet, I don't feel quite at ease here yet.

I know most of the department already, whether they were my instructors back in the day or whether I tutored their students during my work at the writing center, and some I met through the infinitely helpful new adjunct orientation I went to (seriously, 20 minutes on the mission statement and only 10 on exactly which of our dozen log-in-and-password combinations will get us into Blackboard...). It's still awkward for me, though, because half of my now-coworkers are in my mental file marked "teacher," not "colleague." They're all too happy to treat me as a colleague, even trying to recruit me to different committees (yeah, no cynical comments, please--I'm aware of the double-edged sword of committee involvement); it's just me. There's a ready community there if I just put forth a little more effort.

That's the situation with "my" campus; one class is on another campus downtown. The first time I went to go teach there was the second time I'd ever set foot in the place. It is by far the strangest campus I've been on. I can only speculate that it was designed during a late-night planning session, with the assistance of a copious amount of some sort of mind-altering substance--classrooms aren't numbered chronologically, hallways lead off into dead ends, stairwells are in strange places, it's actually two attached buildings and that's it... I normally have an uncanny sense of direction, but this place throws me. When I can find it, there is an office available for adjuncts, but it's dim and empty in the evening and I'd just as soon not stay longer than needed. I've met members of the administration for the campus, but other than them, I don't know anybody there. Most hallways are vacant, save for few occasional students--it just doesn't have the feel of a campus at all.

I'm not actually unhappy with this; these are just a few observations I've made regarding my feelings of not being settled. I barely had time to transition from vacation to the new semester, so I'm just now able to start to process things. It's only week three, after all.

I suspect the first of several composition meetings this Friday will take care of my last traces of disconnectedness.

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