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Date: Sun, 8 Mar 98 19:14:34 CST
To: [log in to unmask]

Dan, I really appreciated your point re: demoralization. It's so difficult
to describe and make an argument about, but let me put it very crudely.
After a long term on the adjunct wheel, I just started to feel like, well,
a LOSER. And so did both my male and female co-workers: out with the "gang"
for coffee I always felt like we composed something like the "geek"
table from high school in which NO ONE wants to "be there." We all
hated being treated dismissively or, at the very best (by the "nice"
people), with great condescention. Oh, students know that you're not
a "real" professor too and that can affect the way you feel, and
thus operate, in the classroom. Feeling this way is akin to depression and
makes it increasingly difficult to DO anything political: it's as if one's
feel are covered with glue. At worst, Nietzschean ressentiment takes over
and things get spooky. I did quit (of course I'm not recommending that
route for others!) mostly because I grew tired of doing well and amassing
work that vaporized every semester...as there is no room for advancement,
input, reward, review etc. built into the system: in fact, the better you
do, the more the powers-that-be in many deparments suspect you of trying to
(as they put it at Hamline) "get in through the back door." This is
extremely detrimental to your situation. Now, if I tried it again I would
DEFINITELY fight for parity, as I do now from the outside. But I'm
older, tougher and somewhat vaccinated against the self-worth anthrax that
really does affect one as an adjunct. But one can never be sure...
Michelle

PS Mary, this is no "solution," but venting to "the academic horror show"
([log in to unmask]) can be a welcome release!