Teaching as an adjunct can be a lot of fun. It is also challenging. As I have encountered a number of situations, I realize such a blog can be helpful, both to me and to others.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


I have recently been beating myself up over a stupid action (or non-action) on my part. There was a job I was interested in and I set up an interview for the position. Now, in fairness, while the job sounded fantastic, the irregular hours, pay and lack of ANY guarantees, gave me pause. Still, I wanted to learn more about the position, go to the interview and see where things went from there.

The interview was scheduled for 11:00 AM. I arrived just a few minutes early and was ready to go. When I got there, I learned that I had the wrong time in my head and it the interview was actually slated for 10:00 AM. I was so sure I had the right time, I went back and checked the e-mail. Guess what? It was for 10:00. I completely blew it. The interviewer was nice enough to still meet with me but, in reality, I knew I blew my chance. To make matters even worse, I could have easily been there at 10:00. When I finished the interview, I left with the feeling that if the shoe was on the other foot, I would not hire me for the position.

I then started thinking if this was any different than students who need extra time for assignments, have some kind of sob story for me or have poor attendance. In part, it isn't, but only in part. I think one thing that makes the situation different for me is, I did not deliberately do this AND I acknowledge my stupidity and that the consequences I suffer are my own fault.

I actually had a student years ago who missed the final exam. She came up to me afterward and apologized. She explained that she needed to get a friend to an important meeting and he had no other way of getting there. She said she hoped I would be kind enough to let her take a makeup exam but she understood if I didn't since she consciously made this decision and knew there would be consequences.

Truth is, a student like that gets a lot further with me than one who always looks to blame things on other people. She recognized what she did and, in effect, asked for leniency (which by the way I granted). Unfortunately, I am unable to be so kind in granting leniency to myself.

Well, the consolation is, you can bet, I won't let something like this happen to me again.