I have a Master’s degree in English Literature and Composition from a respectable university. I work as an adjunct English instructor, making less money than a Starbucks barista. If student loan companies operated like John Gotti, I would be in the bottom of the ocean with cinder blocks tied to my feet. Actually, maybe it’s time for me to flee to Costa Rica…
A quick Google search for the word ‘adjunct’ provides the following definition: “A thing added to something else as a supplementary rather than an essential part.” This is pretty much how most universities think of their adjunct faculty – non-essential. It’s reflected in our pay (low), our job security (laughable) and our healthcare benefits (non-existent). Many of us teach a full-time course load, but we are still considered part-time by our employers, who are then not required to grant us any of the benefits provided to full-time faculty. I did one time get a coffee mug filled with jolly-ranchers . . . so there’s that.
Approximately 70% of the faculty at universities across the country is non-tenure-track. We are the new majority, yet we are thought of as ‘non-essential.’
Here you will mostly find sad complaints of a bitter and ineffective adjunct who should probably be locked in a padded cell.