Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The people who hire me

Let's forget for a moment that "they" (on this particular day) are people I have never met and that they are saving me from complete financial ruin by giving me a job this fall. I can't organize my thoughts (no unity, no coherence... and I am an English teacher... uh huh) so just keep reading and perhaps you will get why I have a confusing love/hate thing going on.

After my panic-mode post from the airport, I banged my resume out to three local schools hoping that, uh, at 4 in the afternoon the Friday before classes start, someone would be magically understaffed enough to hire me sight unseen based on a resume that could easily be a complete fabrication. Seriously, a nine year old could have downloaded my CV off the internet and carpeted the city with it.

Only it was me, and it appears that I, sight unseen, references unchecked, am teaching freshmen comp first thing Tursday morning -- 8:15am. *

And I am ready for whatever hits me square in the face at 8:15am.** I just put my school-marm glasses on. I have practiced knotting my hair into a bun at the nape of my long, shapely (ok, alien-like) neck. I have reviewed my wardrobe: tweed skirts and crisp white blouses and Mary Janes and sensible stripes and oh dear heavens will I wear the seamed stockings? Yes. Yes, I believe I will.

As far as the actual teaching goes, my future students will hear about the perils of verbosity. They will cringe over the bright red slashes of my felt tip editing pen. And oh yes, they will suffer the lash of my semi-colon. I will make them suffer, I tell you.

Why? Well, partly it's because they are paying me to do it. But I am going to do it with a bitchglorious attitude. Why?

Because I am angry.


I could easily melt some nice person's eyeballs out when I am in a rage, but you are nice people and therefore I cannot do such harm to you. So I will say this as nicely as I possibly can.

My rage has to do with the fact that any nine year old who can tell jokes and show up on time (or not, whatever) can get a part time teaching gig for slave wages, but actual real live adult smart people with metric tons of books on their shelves and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of education and dear God, seriously POUNDS of reference letters cannot get tenure track jobs unless they have won the Nobel prize FOR SOMETHING THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ENGLISH (something like "spelling reform" or, oh God help us all, advancements in "tolerance" or some unbelieveable bullshit like "culture work"). More often, it's for screwing someone, anyone, who is screwing someone else who is screwing some other someone else who happens to be the husband of a major benefactress. Of the (often) two year college.

Please just kill me. I will be sitting quite still right here at the monitor for some time. Thank you for your courage (and the expense of the bullet).

* I'll talk some other day about why I so very much hate teaching at 8am. Summary: I am not "on" at 8am. I am nice and ok to be around, but it takes me until at least 10am to be even a little bit amusing, and since kids these days need to be entertained, and since I am not on my game yet at 8am, the whole semester goes straight into the weeds from the first day unless I can train myself to get up at 5am and warm up my silliness. And who does that? Not me, in case you thought so...

** Not that I have not already taught enough freshman comp that I could probably walk a half way intelligent nine year old through it if he were wearing convincing stilts and a tweed blazer with corduroy patches at the elbows. If he could tell a few good jokes and felt A-OK about grade inflation, they'd probably hire him instead of me next year (because, obviously, he has done more "culture work" (or something).

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