Thursday, January 13, 2011

Meeting at the New Place

This afternoon, I went to CSUF, Irvine, which consists of one large and very inclusive office building about 5 minutes away from the college, and met with the dean, her assistant, the chair of the department for which I will be teaching, and three other faculty members who teach in this interdisciplinary department. I was the only teacher of writing in the group, but all of us were new to this place because it is a new campus, a few miles away from the old one, and it has not opened yet.
Though I have not yet officially signed my contract and don't even know how much I will be paid, I learned where my office (a real office of my very own, my first, with a computer, and bookshelves, and everything an office entails!!!) and my classroom and the bookstore and the library and all the other stuff are. Everything is tucked away into this one building. I was so pleased that the school arranged this, since I was getting nervous about having to go into class blind, having no idea how things worked, who to call in case of trouble, and where I fit into the system.
All of this catch-as-catch stuff at the new institution, since the campus is so new, very much made me appreciate the thoughtful system for adjuncts that the college where I have been teaching for so long has instituted, the workshops, the snacks, the faculty handbooks, the well-established procedures one can use in case of emergencies or in case one needs to refer students with physical or mental problems. This school, as yet, has not developed these procedures, so it is kind of like the wild west. I just have to punt if something comes up.
It has made me think fondly of the college in many ways, and despite my habitual grousing, about the people that I have been working with. I have gone through an unpleasant time, but it doesn't really mean that the people I've worked with for so many years have changed. I was just upset by going through that grade grievance, my very first in 31 years of teaching, and angry that I had to change the grade of someone who truly deserved to fail.
But I learned a lot during this experience, as in all the difficult experiences I have had in my life, that will serve me for the future and make me stronger in the long run, and perhaps (maybe, who knows?) wiser.


marly said...

Keep chugging, engine that can.

And there aren't many places left to be a pioneer--sounds promising.

Robin said...

An auspicious beginning! I am so happy for you--and pleased to hear that you even have an office to call your own! I hope you enjoy teaching there!

Robbi said...

Thanks for your support my friends.