Recently, I discovered a charming website called Rate Your Students (RYS), a place where academics, both the privileged and unprivileged, can come together and bitch about the unfairness of having to put up with college students one level above, say, a peanut butter sandwich and conniving colleagues who would torpedo one's tenure-track career.
This post pretty much sets the tone of RYS.
Personally, I'm having a great semester--though it helps having only one class. My students seem engaged, respectful, and smart, so I look forward to going to class and engaging in our literary discussions. Yesterday, I yanked a few unsuspecting souls from the class, and we did an impromptu (and unrehearsed) reading of Susan Glaspell's Trifles (1916), a proto-feminist play. They were all good sports and did an amazing job. In fact, one young lady did such a fine job of delivering dialogue that I encouraged her to consider trying out for one of our college productions. Last semester, I had a full load (four classes), and I have to admit that even then I had a good semester--not perfect, but when one has 75+ students, one is bound to end up with a few slackers.
I'm just overall happier these days.
How can this be? I'm still on the lowest possible rung on the academic ladder--the next step down is called "out." Thus, my situation is, at best, tenuous. I should be wailing and gnashing my teeth, but I'm not.
For one thing, I don't have time to whine. My domaining enterprise, albeit profits still hooked on life support, takes a long time, and I'm still low on the learning curve.
Also, while jumping into a new profession can be confusing and frustrating, it's enriching to stretch one's mind in a totally different direction; I learn something new every day, and that is satisfying and fun, especially when those AHA! moments come.
I'm no longer defined by a certain standing in academia because I have made my peace with the fact that I am now a "true" adjunct: one who comes to class, does her job (well, I hope), and then leaves and pursues her real job. As a result, I am a better teacher because I have left any residual bitterness behind.
Also, I have finished I, Driven: memoir of a teen's involuntary commitment and am in the process of shopping it around. There, too, I have decided that I will not be defined by what the establishment publishing industry thinks of me, and, thus, my work. These days, there are too many options open to writers, including self publishing and/or blogging it (with adsense plastered on each page). The establishment publishing industry can twitter all they want--see if I care.
Lesson learned: always have plan "B" in mind--and maybe even plan "C."
Now, about Post Foetry. I don't have the resources to turn this into a true investigative site. I'm basically one person with limited energy and funds.
My call for team members has fallen flat. Evidently, writers are very fearful folks who are afraid of rocking the literary boat (even anonymously), so good folks do nothing while contest fraud continues. So be it. Sometimes one learns best in the school of hard knocks...
Of course, for better or for worse, I will continue to post here. I will continue to speak out against literary contest fraud and warn the naive and young, but I'm not going to dabble in investigative work.
I'm just going to post what I think about various topics in the publishing industry, so feel free to view this blog as Bugzita/Jennifer's form of literary masturbation.
Don't worry, be happy.
Jennifer, Bugzita, Ms Domainer, Ms. Siegel