August marks a major career development for me. I'm keeping up my insurance license and remain ready to sell, as much as one can in a recession with high gas prices. But I'm also going to work in two jobs are are more of who I am than what I do.
I'm going to be an adjunct instructor of political science and history. I was already signed up to teach Comparative Government and Major Issues in US History at La Roche College
in Pittsburgh. This week I was also approached by the Community College of Allegheny County
to teach a couple of political science courses at their main, Allegheny campus on the North Side of Pittsburgh. The schedule dovetails perfectly with my commitments to La Roche, so I'm free to teach one section of Introduction to Political Science during the day, and one of American Government on Wednesday evenings.
It has been a while since I stood at the front of a classroom, and it is something that I really miss. I spent the last twenty-three years in a variety of corporate jobs, including eight and a half years in a bank. I also worked in IT, spent a stint in human resources, and of course gained my insurance license. When things got tough and opportunities scarce, I wasn't too proud to deliver water or do other jobs through temp agencies that weren't exactly of the corporate samurai variety.
All the while though, whether I was allegedly on an executive track or doing something that would disgust a meth addict or bore the dead, I was always a writer and a teacher in exile. That is who I am. It is a big reason why no matter what happened, Line of Departure
kept on keeping on. No matter what, I could always write.
Now I can also teach.
It's going to be interesting, in two very different institutions. La Roche is a very small, high-quality Catholic liberal arts college in the suburbs, with one modern, somewhat idyllic campus. CCAC is a big, county-run two-year school, with the center of gravity in the city of Pittsburgh, but with several newer campuses spread throughout Allegheny County. In their own ways, I'm impressed by both, and have known and worked with alumni of both schools.
There are three things that I sincerely hope above all else. The first is that I do a really good job. I want to be the best professor that I can be, for my own satisfaction, but most of all because I'll have over a hundred students paying good money, and investing even more valuable time, to get a quality product. No one should leave my classroom feeling that they got anything less than the best that I could offer.
Belay that; they should get the best that they could get. When my standards sink, I should go back to the delivery truck.
Second, I would like to make this last. Adjunct instructorships are, by inference at least, temporary. I'd prefer that teaching was a more permanent career for me.
Finally, and connected with that, I'd like to be able to make a living at it. It's not the best-paying job in the world, just the one that I've wanted since grad shool.
I start teaching at CCAC on Tuesday; theirs was definitely a critical need, to be filled in a hurry. La Roche starts in ten days. In the meantime, I have a huge amount of work and reading to do.