That’s basically how I feel every September. I know my stuff, but I always feel like because I don’t know everything I am screwing it up. Considering I teach art history from 5000 BCE to the Present day, there is no fucking away I could know everything, but I feel like I HAVE TOO!! Most of us get to specialize in something, but nope the college adjunct must know all! Also, the lack of pay has made me very unmotivated. It’s hard to research when I work another job on the side and occasionally a third.
I’m always afraid that some other art historian will walk into my class and they will be like “NO That’s an over simplification, we need to spend that next 4 weeks on this little detail.”
I hate when students say “Well why didn’t we talk about X, X is soooo much more important than Y” Usually I don’t talk about X, because everyone has taught about X since elementary school. Y is far more interesting. If you love X so much, go to the fucking library and read about them.
Or my other least favourite “You don’t know this artist? How could you not know them? They are super important! How could you not know that?” My ex was guilty of that, and I listed 10 video, performance and interactive artists to prove how fucking annoying the “OMG you don’t know so and so is.” impressively for how stupid he is, he actually understood my point.
One of my friends just got a job as an adjunct and I’ve been so glad to have someone to talk honestly about feeling like a fuck up and general adjuncting problems. How you’ll get offered a job that’s lateral to your field, so you feel like an impostor, but you are super smart. That and my colleague and I have started to discuss changing careers, because you can’t adjunct your whole life. Ya, if I was wealthy and it was a hobby, sure I’d do it. But I’m trying to have a saving account (haha!). How neither of us really want to leave the country, because we want to see our families, which if you say in academic circles you will be burned alive. I know, my love of my friends and family is a weakness, but seriously they make me happy more consistently than my students.
Oh, I might get to be in the union, but my colleague warned me while we were drinking all the wine that they may drag their feet. By dragging their feet, it means they’ll miss the pay period and I won’t get compensated for working until late October. They did it to her and she didn’t get paid until late November. Also, means I probably won’t get benefits. Because my contract will expire in December.
Huzzah adjuncting and administrative penny pinching assholes.
Which brings me to the next question. What am I doing with my life? I’ve been up to my eye balls doing prep, while probably not getting paid this month, and I do get excited about the material. But honestly, what am I doing?
I’m gonna need to seriously start thinking about a different line of work, because I don’t think I do 2 jobs, no time off for the rest of my life.
After watching Inside Out, I’m starting to wonder if Art History island is on the decline.