Posted in Fayetteville, Lately

Some Fayetteville Day Trips

We moved to Fayetteville last year because we fell in love with a job offer. I am still in love with the job.

I work pretty hard to stay in “like” with Fayetteville.

It’s a tougher city than I am used to. My dad summed it up pretty well. He said, “It’s not really like the South, is it?” For my dad, “the South” means manners and country good nature.

And he’s right. Fayetteville only seems like “the South” here and there. It is a hodgepodge city that a lot of the population considers a temporary residence. When you are just passing through, you don’t invest too much in a place.

It also has record breaking poverty and crime levels. The homeless population is through the charts, and, according to my research, there aren’t enough resources in the city to help.

Recap:

A lot of people in Fayetteville need help.

A lot of people in Fayetteville are “just passing through” and have no intention of bettering the place.

Vicious cycle.

I am lucky to work for a community-minded university that has opportunities for outreach, and even service learning elements in our classes. I believe every little bit helps.

Okay. Long intro. What I wanted to make clear: I am not giving up on Fayetteville. With that said,

The best part about living in Fayetteville is the day trip distance.

My kids are old enough to handle day trips! Hooray! Those of you who suffered through the whole, feeding, napping, diaper-refreshing, mandatory cuddle time cycles of babies know what a big milestone that is!

We can drive for two hours without much complaint, and Fayetteville has amazing destinations around the 2-hour mark.

We have become regular visitors to Wilmington, NC. We love Kure Beach and have started to explore the many parks. We bought a family membership to the aquarium for less than $100.

Our aquarium membership also gets us into the NC Zoo (again less than 2 hours from Fayetteville) for FREE! There is a long list of participating zoos and aquariums that are either free or deeply discounted with the aquarium membership. The super-snazzy (translate: expensive) aquarium in Atlanta is 50% off with our membership. That wouldn’t be a day trip, but it’s still a valuable discount.

We are also only one hour away from Raleigh. I am slowly learning the ins and outs of Raleigh. I went to Chapel Hill for my undergrad years, but never really got acquainted with the neighboring city.  What we have found so far are free museums and a few wonderful parks.

The Art Museum, History Museum, and the Museum of Natural Sciences are free. You might just have to pay for parking, if it is a busy day.

Pullen Park is one of the main reasons my family goes to Raleigh. The park is right beside NC State, and features an impressively long miniature train ride, a beautiful old-time carousel, and paddle boat rides on their lovely little pond. Tickets to ride these things are not very expensive (only $1 for a train or carousel ride). Bring a picnic or eat at their super trendy (translate: local, organic, expensive) café. There are tons of playground features, including a sand and water play area. The walking trail around the lake is beautiful and borders NC State.

We also enjoy visiting Chapel Hill (again less than 2 hours’ distance). It’s my alma mater, and I like visiting memorable places and walking the beautiful campus with my family. Soon, I expect we will be ready to start attending some sporting events.

Fayetteville will grow on me. So far, I can at least credit it for having a wonderful location for exploring. Pick a direction and something awesome will be less than 2 hours that-a-way.

 

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Posted in Professor

Adjuncting Is “Optional.”

'Do you, Tenured, take this, Untenured, through sickness and health, to have and to hold from this day forward?'
‘Do you, Tenured, take this, Untenured, through sickness and health, to have and to hold from this day forward?’

Adjuncting makes becoming a professor only something people can do if they 1.) kill themselves working multiple jobs or 2.) have someone to take care of them financially.

Look at the problematic dimensions and loops of prejudice.

She just has a master’s degree. What did she expect? We can pay her a quarter of what we pay a full-timer.

She has a husband at home who takes care of the finances. She just supplements. When a full-time position opens up, she doesn’t “need” it.

She knows how this works. That’s why she has three other jobs. We can cancel her class without notice.

They’re adjuncts. What did they expect?

Actually, we are only adjuncts because the hiring and payment of full-time professors is apparently one of the ways universities save money.

If you think tuition pays for a professor’s salary- we are getting down to some REALLY small fractions.

I have been paid $1300 to teach a 16-week class. Departments don’t come up with these numbers based on the value of the class or the teaching. It is like a universally agreed upon scam.

If no one hires full timers, the over qualified individuals who can only get jobs in academia will HAVE to accept our super-cheap, unreliably-termed, part-time contracts.

And we do.

With a Master’s in English and an impeccable teaching record, I applied for everything imaginable. I tried the party-planning route, advertising, middle management in retail, and more. Every full-time job opportunity resulted in an application during my adjunct years.

However, I’m a good teacher because that is what I am qualified to do. And résumé readers know that. A beautiful academic record resulted only in part-time academic job offers.

For five years.

A miracle broke the cycle. A librarianship coupled with writing center work that finally gave me a full-time titled position. Positions like that one are super-rare.

Once the “adjunct” title was off of my résumé, I was treated with infinitely more respect in the job market. One full-time job directly led to another. I’m in a different pool of applicants now.

I’m still the good teacher I always was. I still read, research, and write. I still attend meetings. The only difference is I now work less and get paid more. I am no longer an “adjunct” by title.

I didn’t earn the disrespectful treatment associated with the adjunct title, but I certainly received that treatment. I was a good teacher, used and overworked, and never made anything that could be termed a living wage from any of my positions.

Please compare.

At my most reliable adjunct position, I was paid $1800 per class for 3 classes a semester. You had to cut throats to get summer school. I was only so lucky twice. So, teaching 6 classes a year, I received $10,800 and 0 benefits.

I couldn’t live on that, so I had 3 other positions, adding up to about 8 classes per semester (16/year).

At my current full-time Institution, I am at the lowest full-time starting rank of Instructor, teaching the usual full-time load of classes: 4 per semester. For teaching 8 classes a year, I am paid $40,000.

Because I “deserve” it now. I’m “full-time”.

How can a system built around the pursuit of knowledge be so utterly stupid?