“Idle hands may be the devil’s work, unbridled minds you see are so much worse…”
– Type O Negative
There are some advantages and disadvantages to being an adjunct professor. One truly mixed blessing is the time off between quarters. It is true that having some additional time off is a nice perk… one problem though. We don’t get paid for the time between terms. Careful saving is a necessity, otherwise you can easily go broke while getting ready for the next teaching term.
As an adjunct you can sometimes collect unemployment, but the folks in both the unemployment office (and frequently the colleges themselves) will try to convince you that you shouldn’t… Here is a tip for adjunct instructors: Adjunct instructors do not have a “reasonable assurance of employment”. All offers of employment are conditional, based on program changes, funding, and enrollment. This is true in Washington State, but I don’t know what rules or regulations that other states have set up.
I do spend some time in between terms planning out my next quarter’s classes. While the unwritten rule of teaching is that of unpaid overtime, it is a bad idea to work too much between terms… that way leads to madness, and teacher burnout.
So I play the lottery. Not to excess, of course. Also not because I think I have any realistic chance of winning, but because I want the license to dream.
During this break I’ve been designing my hollowed out volcanic lair. Actually, I’ve been designing a building that looks like a volcano (complete with periodic “eruptions”) that I could build with a mega-jackpot. So far, it has a greenhouse in the caldera of the volcano with the nickname of “The Garden of Evil”, a lair for myself and my family, additional quarters for guests and minions, office space where I can further my nefarious plans of world domination, and a cinema and gift shop at the ground floor. Parking and dungeons are located in the basement.
I find myself asking questions like, what kind of kitchen goes best inside a hollowed out volcano?
Some of my family are starting to look at me funny.
Do you see what I mean about the mixed blessing of having too much time on your hands?