Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Well, well, well, will wonders never cease? It seems that I have been offered a job. Of course, no papers have been signed yet, so anything can happen between now and the time that the job starts.

Basically, I was asked to teach evolution to non-majors at a private Catholic college this autumn. Of course, I have to stay alive until September when the semester begins and then, if they haven’t changed their minds and they keep their promise to hire me, I will earn approximately half (or less) of my monthly rent, along with absolutely no medical/dental insurance benefits whatsoever, nor any sick leave, but hey, I will be an adjunct professor once again. Of course, being an adjunct professor means that I will be treated as a disposable nonentity by everyone whom I come into contact with, BUT at least I have a part-time temporary position in my field, finally. And it only took me two years, eleven months, two weeks and four days of searching to find it.

After the last few adjunct positions I held, all of which were horrible experiences that left me feeling significantly diminished as a professional and as a person, I promised myself that I would never again accept another adjunct position under any circumstances. But this position was tempting because evolution is exactly what I care about and would enjoy teaching and, even better, they are giving me the freedom to choose my own texts and to design the course to fit my own expectations.

So, this will be a balancing act: on one hand, I still must scramble simply to survive and I will be treated badly, but at least I will be paid to do one thing that I actually care about and I will be given the freedom to do it the way that I think it should be done.

You know, almost like a real professional. Well, sorta.


  1. #1 J-Dog
    July 18, 2006

    Congratulations! Anthro is fun, so teach your butt off!

  2. #2 Bijal
    July 18, 2006

    Dear Scientistgirl,

    Congrats on the job! I am writing an article on a related issue for The Scientist. Would you be willing to talk with me for the story?


  3. #3 bob Levy
    July 18, 2006

    Hey, this is good news. Collect the pay check try to enjoy the work. I wish you only the best and even better things are coming. Keep the faith.

  4. #4 David Harmon
    July 18, 2006


  5. #5 Paul Riddell
    July 18, 2006

    Many, many congratulations. Yes, it’s not a perfect job, but look at the bright side: at least you’re not working in a call center. (I do, and that’s why I’m going back to school to get my degrees in horticulture and botany. I use the term “free-range Soylent Green” to describe my customers for a reason.)

  6. #6 GrrlScientist
    July 19, 2006

    thanks, everyone.

  7. #7 gladio
    July 22, 2006

    I hope that this is a sign that luck is about to change for the better. Well done!

  8. #8 trillwing
    July 23, 2006


  9. #9 biosparite
    July 23, 2006

    I think having something going, even as an adjunct, imparts momentum toward other things. You can never tell when a permanent opening might develop where you are teaching. Congratulations!

  10. #10 Paco
    July 28, 2006

    Congratulations! May even be better than hell. 🙂 I just went through my own long job search, landing near DC, a city of Northern charm and Southern efficiency (said JFK).

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