ITINERARY OF AN ADJUNCT
8:48AM: cat meows in face, demanding food or he will die this instant. At 18 lbs., he is like a bowling ball on the chest, with four pressure points. Girlfriend has gone to work and I am the only food provider left.
9:02: the 'NPR alarm' has been going off for two minutes. Somnolent voice. Garden apt. ensures muffled reception, little light. Cat asleep again on pillow.
9:05: 'cereal bin' rings in head as if bin = barricades. Body not buying it, though the faint question of revolution's been on the mind.
9:07: caffeine addiction must be met on own terms. A cup of sitting, staring, reading a nutrition almanac. Cereal crunched.
9:41: mega vitamins consumed in lieu of health benefits.
10:05: check e-mail. No surprises from students of last semester wanting to be 'given' a C despite low attendance, missing assignments, poor effort.
10:11: read the bit of news online. Chomping at it. Operation Just Death and celebrity couplings navigated scrupulously.
10:30: the stench of killed stories causes one to pace. Coffee helps. Have not been paid in three weeks.
10:35: leave for class. Chicago traffic. Will not get paid for another week.
10:45: Mancow, Hooters, and pharma-giant billboards illuminate morning drive.
11:03: arrive at campus parking lot in hand-me-down, 232,000-mile vehicle. Wonder how long steering will survive. No AC.
11:30: class begins. Composition. Roll call, syllabi, the smell of new text.11:35: first look at the clock. An hour and 25 minutes of textbook, tangents, and policy.
12:30PM: by now it's apparent who will earn an A; the rest of the students are stupefied by the unconventional use of language. Avoid thinking lustful thoughts.
1:00: class over. Hour long drive to next class begins shortly.
1:05: sigh in car. Hot as hell, and only one window works, doomed by electronics.
1:29: potholes a joy to behold. Sweat pours down back. CD skips.
2:00: after a number of attempts at different routes, none prove trafficless, without construction or jarring ruts.
2:10: no spaces left in faculty lot due to construction fencing. Park on the curb, ticket likely.
2:37: adjunct 'lounge' continues to be empty; a catnap would seem in order. However, no privacy, no office, no recourse. Full-time 'refugee' professors in little holding pens paste icons of worldly idols on their doors and shut themselves inside.
3:03: no students visiting 'office' hours yet. Read copy of nonrelevant philosophy textbook borrowed from cabinet, then peruse syllabus for errors. Own textbook already boring.
3:50: class begins. Composition. Roll call, syllabi, the smell of new text.
3:51: student wonders aloud if I shouldn't be in the class, rather than teaching it. I tell him it's only Michael J. Fox syndrome, then realize the potential misunderstanding.
4:16: talk about independent thought largely in one ear and out the other.
5:30: at break a student complains about lack of proconsumption viewpoints. I remind the class that I want all disagreements in writing.
6:25: class ends. Decide to hang out in library rather than face traffic. Check out book, Chomsky on miseducation.
7:08: leave campus. Ticket on window. Have not eaten decently since morning; $4 hot dog didn't cut it. Traffic bumper to bumper. Hour-fifteen home.