June 23, 2009

Being paid to sit in a/c

As Notorious Ph.D. wrote at the end of last week, most nine-month faculty do not get a vacation in summer but are just unemployed and often still have to work. Some such folks have plenty of resources to tide them over until the fall, others have a salary that is stretched out over twelve months, and yet others are paid fairly pitifully. I'm in none of those categories, having a salary that's well below the average for rank and discipline but higher than the median U.S. salary and considerably higher than the average wages through human history. I also have a paid teaching gig this summer, one course, and for most of yesterday from about 8 am until 9 pm, I was reading papers or engaged in various class logistics. Last week, any time not in class was spent on union work or a teaching workshop for high-school history teachers on the Spanish Civil War and American involvement in it. The latter is a far cry from a Teaching American History project, but it gives me a taste of what the best of workshops can be like.

This morning is one of those days when I had a substantial incentive to get to campus early: when I woke up, the temperatures were already in the mid-80s (F.). Right now, the weather station at Tampa International is recording 85 F. with 82% relative humidity. I keep telling myself that at least the sauna is free, and the driver of the car parked next to mine this morning added, "In the north, you have to shovel stuff." For the record, 82% humidity in mid-80s temperatures is darned close to shovelworthy, but not yet.

So I'm in my office, and with luck I'll be able to grade some straggler student papers before class. Because of last week's workshop and a whole set of other things, I'm behinder than usual on other matters. And if you think the third-to-last word in the previous sentence is not in fact a word, you may not have been reading a slew of student papers recently, and you might be one of those language mavens who would like to bury the student body, preferably next to Jimmy Hoffa (apologies to Strunk and White).

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Posted in Teaching on June 23, 2009 7:48 AM |