Friday, November 18, 2016

Another Troubled Adjunct

Amy Martin, the art history graduate student who calls her blog Caravaggista, is these days trying to support herself teaching:
Sometimes as an adjunct I feel like I am begging for work. Desperate. I never know what my income will be quarter to quarter, and it is starting to take a psychological toll. I love teaching, but if I don’t find something permanent in my area, I don’t know how much longer I can sustain this. I can’t remember a day in the last two years where I wasn’t sad or anxious about my financial obligations and my future.

Some people luck out and land steady teaching jobs. The opportunity hasn’t crossed my path yet. I love my job and my field more than anything, and recommend it to anyone who wants to pursue it, but the more I am in it, the more I feel the weight of the academy and the adjunct crisis. If you want to teach on a college level, if you want to pursue art history at the graduate level, make wise decisions, be as flexible as possible, and do your best to prepare for life after graduation.
I have been reading Caraviggista for years, and have watched Martin go from wide-eyed student excited about everything to this. Thus the meritocracy: the system can't work unless somebody fails to make it into the charmed circle.

1 comment:

David said...

Yes, and if all we have to say toward a large portion of our own society is "You lose!"--well, on what basis do we have a community at all?