If you had asked me 6 months ago (heck, 3 months ago) what I would be doing in the Spring of 2014 my answer would have been more hopeful than certain. I could not have guessed that I would be teaching my first ‘real’ college class, nor that it would be a course I had built (or would be building) from the ground up.
It is truly an amazing experience to be constructing something that is yours—you made it, you built it, flaws and all. Creation is a magnificent thing—it is the fruit and the process, and both aspects are fulfilling and enriching.
I am only half way through this semester, and every class and every moment I spend making this course seems stressful and uncertain. I don’t know exactly how to say things; I don’t know how the material will be received; (Do they know that I am sweating buckets?); I don’t know if the students will care or be interested or will simply stare blankly back at me. All of this might make some people turn and run, drop out, give up, question why do it…
I do it because I really do have a passion for this material. 9 years of graduate work, almost 300 pages of a dissertation, and hours and hours of research have not tarnished nor dampened my enthusiasm and love for philosophy, art, and the strangle amalgam that they come together to form. I am lucky to be in a position where I can gain experience as an adjunct while not relying wholly on that income for my livelihood. I wish it were more, but for now
I we can get by.
The other day I was talking to someone and it was the first time that, when asked “What do you do?” I responded “I teach at Burlington College.” Wow! Adjunct or not I am a college professor and it felt amazing to say it! We might never know where the future will lead us, but I for one enjoy having the feeling of moving towards something while not knowing exactly what that something is. The universe seems to provide, so long as you are open to change and embody a willingness to move forward and out of that shifting landscape that is the present. Remember: the present is fickle and exists for a fraction of a moment: quickly it becomes the past, allowing us to learn, and grow, and reflect on our experiences—but the present is also the future’s untapped potential bleeding through, showing us that anything is possible and beckoning us make things happen.
I am not where I want to be, but I am getting there. I am trying to become the person I want to be, which might, like Sisyphus and his damn rock, never really end but rather will be a continual journey.