This September, I began my 4th year as one of the many hundreds of WCC adjunct faculty members. Prior to that, I had been a teacher in the NYC public school system. My NYC high school was a good one – thanks in large part to a very strong and supportive administrative
staff. But the unavoidable and unpleasant aspects of the job, the ones that led me to decide to
take a somewhat early retirement, are now behind me and I still marvel at my good fortune that at the very same time as I retired, WCC just happened to advertise two open positions in my subject area, Japanese 101 and 102, and I got both of them.
For me, being an adjunct at WCC comes with a lot of advantages and virtually no disadvantages.
I know this is not true for all my colleagues but these are the good points:
- I can wake up late and commute to work within 10 minutes.
- The majority of my students choose my class because they are actually interested.
- An $80/hr. salary (generous as an hourly wage but impossible to live on as an annual wage @ 10 hours/week, 30 weeks/year) comes to me in addition to a pension and health insurance benefits from my previous job.
- Nature: I love our geese, groundhogs, grass and trees.
- I have a very kind and supportive department chair – Professor Adis Fazzino. (Shout out!!)
- I have independence in choosing what and how to teach my subject.
- My work environment, the Gateway Building, is in good condition and the photocopy machine almost always works.
There is one bad point:
Once again, we are working without a contract. I’m used to that. I did it in NYC and in Rockland County too. Professionally and philosophically, I resent it very deeply. Thankfully, though, it no longer affects me as badly as it did in the past when public school teaching was my only source of income.
All in all, I feel fortunate – so much so that I hope I don’t make any colleagues resentful. (Trust me. Working in NYC, I “paid my dues.”) At any rate, I wanted to share this positive report, though I’m afraid it might not represent the sentiments of the majority.