Adjunct Professors and Time

Today, I found myself posting this on my FB page:

Not getting anything done

You see, I had laid out an impeccable schedule, and I was following it to the tee. Then I was interrupted by all manner of administrative stuff, some of which should have been handled last night.

But here’s the thing. I often have had the feeling, since graduate school, that my time isn’t respected. After all, I don’t do real work (student, adjunct professor), so I must have LOADS of free time.

So people, who have REAL jobs, get mad if I don’t respond to their requests right away. It’s not as if I could be busy at any given moment.

It has also occurred to me that I am being defensive. There’s a way that being an Adjunct can leave you feeling less than everyone else.

With that said, this is the beauty of a schedule. Generally, I do not answer calls when I have blocked out the time to research/write. That is not someone else’s time to use, it’s mine! I get to set my priorities for the day and follow through on them. If I don’t set up my priorities, it’s not as if other people are going to set them up for me.

This is part of what I covered in Get Your Life Back: A Workshop for Adjunct Professors. We have to prioritize our time and we have to put ourselves in the center of it. It doesn’t matter what other people want. We have to make sure we get what we want out of this life and if we don’t keep our appointments with ourselves, it won’t happen.

It’s a new year. We are midway through the week. But it’s never too late to take some time to prioritize your time, to prioritize yourself. Do it now. Take out your calendar, be it on paper or digital and figure out when you’re going to do what is important to you. If you need help with that, contact me.

I did finish what I started today. It was a frustrating journey there, but sometimes you have to go through the journey. That is the beauty of a schedule!

Michelle Dionne Thompson, PhD


On leaving precarious adjuncting

But you all know this!


I just have to get it off my chest.  I haven’t told many people because they either wouldn’t understand, or they wouldn’t respond correctly and neither is sufficient for this moment in my life.  The picture above is what I looked like after crying for a day – this is what the cancelling of a contract looks like.

See, my contract was cancelled.  No biggee, right?  Part of the deal of being an adjunct – we all *know* it’s precarious.  Why should I be in any less of a precarious spot than the next person? But it flattened me in a way I’ve never been before. See, that contract had been signed – one class for spring semester. Down from three, then two, but still with the one class I’d picked up at the neighboring school, we could afford daycare and we’d make it another semester.  Summers are always tough…

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