So I’ve been working my summer job, working for a summer class aimed at teachers, for the past 2 weeks, give or take. The job doesn’t appear to be difficult (administrative work). I was told the only difficult part is getting people to turn in the forms. I don’t have to work hard necessarily, but the hours are strange. I feel like I’m on-call. I’ll receive emails at any given hour, though they don’t come in that frequently. For instance, I’ll receive an email at 6 AM but won’t receive another until 9 PM at night.

As to be expected, people are people, even teachers. The emails are sometimes imperative though very last minute, which really is why I feel like I’m on-call. They range from late cancellation (late being day of) to confusion about where to go. Because there is a wait list for the program, I feel that it’s necessary to take care of things ASAP. Thank goodness for cell phones with email!

Despite the on-call feeling, I’m also stuck with a massive amount of time. I’m still job searching for a second part-time job not only to earn extra cash but to also to stave off boredom. I find that I’m most productive when I’m a little busier than when I have oodles of time on my hand. Finding summer work is very difficult; because of my current job, I have to be somewhat fussy about what I choose, since there are a handful of mandatory days for me to attend. Going back to grad school means I won’t take a job knowing that I’m going to quit in a few short months. The temp agencies that I called yesterday are optimistic, so hopefully they’ll come up with something.

It’s a shame that we can’t mix these excessively free periods with the crazy busy ones :).


We’re in our last week of classes; next week is finals.

It’s hard to believe that we’re almost finished. In some ways, this is scary, since I kind of have a summer job. I haven’t accepted it, but without any prospects, it looks like I will be. The pay isn’t great, but some income is better than none. I’m still looking at ways to supplement my income, so hopefully I find something soon. On one hand, I’ll have somewhat financial security come August/September, but I still have to weather May, June, July.

While I did have an overall enjoyable semester, I look forward to summer break. Partially because getting up at 6 AM to ensure I arrive at school by 8 AM to teach is draining. I’m not a morning person, and waking up so early on dark, dreary days is difficult. I look forward to a bit of a later start.

In terms of next semester and teaching, because my classes are night classes, I will try to teach one or maybe two classes here. Besides the extra income and keeping a strong connection, I genuinely enjoy my job. The pay isn’t the greatest (this is adjunct work), but I’m lucky to wake up (even if it’s dead early) and work with people I genuinely like and respect. My coworkers are really interesting people that I like to socialize with on the office level. My students are challenging, but there are moments when teaching does feel worthwhile.

If I don’t post much this week, you’ll know why. I’m up to my nose in grading. Final grades are due about 2 days after I give my last final!

My current job has no need for additional adjuncts during the summer, so I’m off to find another job. While I’m not surprised (I’m the lowest ranked person in the office, I believe), I am disappointed. I like teaching, and I hate searching for employment. The economy is still rough, which means that jobs are scarce. In some ways, this job search is more difficult than my previous one, because I don’t want anything permanent and won’t take a permanent job knowing that I’ll quit in a few months. In my opinion, you shouldn’t burn bridges with any company. You never know who knows whom.

I have some applications out, but I haven’t heard anything back. I haven’t been waiting that long, but waiting is difficult. While I’m only going to be temporarily unemployed, it is bothersome, because I can always use the money and more importantly, I can start planning on excursions and/or dance stuff. I’d like to finally treat myself to a good, decent length vacation, but without a job, I’d rather not spend the money.

In addition to my adjunct work, I’m going to have a small part-time job (about 5 hours/week) where I engage middle schoolers in math after school. I think it should be fun. Challenging but fun. I worked as a middle school camp counselor for a week in my junior and senior years of high school. I remember how funny middle school kids are. They’re part-child, part-teenager. Although my interest in education isn’t really at the middle/high school level, I do look forward to this. After all, college students were once middle and high school students, and I think it’s important to understand where they’re coming from.

I start tomorrow. Wish me luck!

My week has consisted of getting my students ready for their midterm. While my boss is fine with me delaying exams, I want to get them used to my exams as well as get them motivated to learn the material. I find it odd being on the other side of the table. Making problems up that are thoughtful, interesting, and not too difficult is a challenge. Writing my first equation sheet was a challenge as well. I have fairly good notes of my own that cover what we’ve done, but  I wanted to make something clear for the students. I don’t think they’re used to using an equation sheet, and it is a skill to learn prior to the exam, not at the exam.

Speaking of my students, they are slowly warming up to me and how our classes are. They were used to not having a system, so I think they appreciate that there is consistency, even if I’m still learning. What I like about my boss and everyone at the school is that they understand that I’m still learning. I know how to teach physics on some level, but I’ve never had to worry about assigning work, creating exams, etc. No one taught me how to do that, either. I’m somewhat of a perfectionist, but I’m trying not to be hard on myself. I feel like I am improving with each day.

The job has been quite a bit of work, which is to be expected. I’ve been fitting in my thesis editing (working on that after I finish writing here) and job searching. To clarify, my contract is only good for this semester. While I think I have a decent chance of getting more work, nothing is secure so I feel that it’s necessary to still search. I’m not sending out my CV as vigorously as before, but I have sent out a few applications. I would be more than happy to continue working at the school,  but since I’m not guaranteed work beyond this semester, I have to keep looking.

Yesterday, I bought my first real set of work clothes. I’ve never had a job that I had specific work clothes. Lab work never required anything fancy and even when I had an office job, I was allowed to wear nice jeans and a nice top. While it was never explicitly stated to me that I needed business casual clothes, I observed most people who work at the school dress that way. I went out with my good friend to go shopping for good quality but cheap pants. I have a fair number of nice tops, but I am a jeans or gaucho pants kinda gal. Thank goodness for Frugal Fannie’s and sales.

I am nervous about starting Tuesday (I’ve been preparing today and will continue to do so tomorrow). Students don’t trust new people; I learned that from substitute teaching for labs or just simply starting out the quarter with a new set of kids. I’m also concerned about having enough material. Teaching at my grad school was nice, in some respects, because we were handed everything that we needed. I’m coming up with original material.

Of course, I am also searching for a part-time job. I have an interview tomorrow and many applications out. At this time of year, I’m not sure how lucky I will be with finding a part-time job. People have suggested seasonal work to me, but as much as I need the money (and I do), I hesitate to give up my Christmas. I’m not from MA, and I want to spend Christmas with people, especially in light of my father’s death. I couldn’t justify leaving on Christmas Eve and then taking an early flight back for a seasonal job. For my own sake, I need to have Christmas be somewhat relaxing. With a holiday job, I would inevitably have to work Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas.

As per usual, wish me luck.

I’m somewhat out of the woods in unemployment land. I was hired officially today as an adjunct professor (I may even get to be addressed as professor) at a community college. I look forward to it. Even though I’ve been rather negative about the whole job search thing and stuff in my life, I was hesitant to share this news. It happened very fast. I decided to call the place, instead of waiting. I had always heard that one waits to hear back, but since the ad specifically listed that they were hiring fast (I start Tuesday), I decided it wasn’t in my best interest to wait. I now wonder how much better I would’ve been calling instead of emailing. Oh well.

The interview took over 2 hours. In terms of interviews, this was not the longest (longest being 7 hours or so, including lunch), but it was an interview. I never know how to read interviews sometimes. I think I landed the job not only because of my initiative to call but also that I can both teach physics and relate to the students; we come from similar backgrounds, even if I’ve managed to do all right for myself.

The job is pretty good; 2 lecture sections and 1 lab of intro physics is all I teach. I’m a little nervous about filling time, really leading a lecture, and so on, but I think I can handle it. The school is very supportive, too, which is good.

The downfall is that being adjunct doesn’t pay well. Well, that’s half true. This position pays decently for the amount of time I’m going to work (or so I estimated), and it would leave me with time to get a part-time job. However, it’s scoring that part-time job. I may be able to get some tutoring through the school, but it is unclear how much right now. I’m hoping for about 10+ hours, but we shall see. I’ve been applying for more tutoring jobs from Craig’s List, as well as other misc. jobs around. Hopefully I get something else soon. I’m not picky about pay or anything, I just need something to supplement my income.

This weekend is going to be spent preparing to teach. I’m excited and scared simultaneously. Wish me luck!