The compounding disadvantages of adjunct life

by VanessaVaile

A good summing up of what we should already know – a necessary reminder for any still in denial

Bad Cover Version

In my last year of grad school, a tenured professor gave me some sage advice: “It’s okay to teach one or two adjunct classes. But it’s almost impossible to get out of adjuncting once you’re in that track.”

She’s right, though I don’t see how I could have avoided the adjunct track in my own career. I had the things that most grad students need: papers at major conferences in my field, two paper prizes from my home society, and publications. However, I defended my dissertation on September 15, 2008. It was exactly the day that Wall Street crashed, and over the next few months, about half the job searches dropped from the wiki. I watched my hopes disappear, but I kept working, teaching four classes each semester, and two over the summer. I had rent and bills to pay, I was engaged, and neither my fiance nor I had trust…

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