Quitting an Adjunct Career
By Harvest Moon
It was late-December cold but I put the Miata’s top down for the seven miles of highway separating campus and home. The occasion called for it. I cranked up the volume and sang along to Catherine Wheel’s “Happy Days,” my soundtrack for life’s big moments. Tucked inside my bag was a signed copy of the contract that attached my name to three classes — two sections of intro, one contemporary social issues — in spring 2002. Even as the chair of the department had apologized for the pay, I could not help but feel lucky. I had been given the opportunity to do what I loved: teach sociology. What I would receive in exchange for this seemed almost beside the point.
And like that I began my career as an adjunct.