Somehow, after doing well in college and grad school, I make less money than ever. I like what I do — teaching writing to college students — and I’m good at it, but it’s messed up career. For the past few years I’ve been an adjunct professor at a state college. The good things about the job are that I love the work, I love the students, and I have good benefits (or we’d never be able to afford Dr. Baby Factory). The bad things are the 2+ hour commute (that’s each way, via subway, train, and bus), the irregular hours, the excruciatingly low pay, and the semester-to-semester uncertainty of employment.
In the fall, I get up at the crack of dawn (usually before that) to teach Freshman Comp for the better-paying Humanities Department; in the spring I stay up late to teach evening classes for perpetually-broke Continuing Ed. I’m finishing a semester of 4-class days: 8:30, 10:30, 2:30, 4:30. This spring, I’m teaching long, late classes on Mondays and Thursdays. If we finish early, I might be home by 10 or 10:30, though we should really go late enough that I wouldn’t be home before 11:30.
My fall boss just offered me an 8:30 section of Freshman Comp — nice of her! Adjuncts don’t often get the spring sections of that class. But, ye gods, the thought of leaving the house at 6:15 and getting home so very, very late…I just don’t think I can swing it. We could use the money — I don’t see how we’ll buy more sperm if what we have doesn’t get the job done, let alone put money away towards motherhood — but I think working those hours will leave my body too messed up to conceive.
I have to call her this afternoon with my decision. Ugh.
(Anybody in the NYC area need a great writing teacher? Or an editor, a writer of video scripts for social work interventions, a test-prep writer?)