Friday, May 13, 2011


Though I know that the college has discontinued my employment, beginning in fall semester, I will be very much a presence on campus this summer. That is good because it means some money will be coming in. However, it will be difficult to deal with emotionally because I will be spending so many hours on campus, seeing everyone I have known for so long, and this will probably be the last time I will see most of them and will be working with the students at the college.
I actually feel the students at the college are very good to work with because despite their frequent poor preparation and the fact that they drop in large numbers and don't do their work, they don't whine like the students I have had in some other places or seem to think they are entitled in quite the same way. And they are grateful when you spend extra time working with them and helping them, unlike some other students I have worked with. And they feel they will need the skills I am teaching them for upper-division classes.
Some actually come back and tell me how much what I taught them helped them at UC or CS or even in getting in those schools or winning scholarships, partly with the essays they could write because of what they learned in my class.
That is very gratifying, and if I end up not teaching anymore and instead tutoring individuals or doing ghostwriting or some such thing, I will miss it.


liz said...

Dear Robbi,
with budget cuts (the government's, our own) on everyone's mind your tenuous tenure puts a period at the end of a sad sentence. the "system"
and the students in it sorely need
people such as yourself. it is so sad to watch the demise of public education as we came to know and trust it as a wellspring of upward mobility and cornerstone of a thinking democracy.

Robin said...

I am so glad the students are giving you the recognition you deserve! Students really do (on occasion)acknowledge teachers like you and Kay Ryals (I am so happy she won those teaching awards!) who give so much of your selves. I have been reading a lOT about adjunct professors and the budget cuts, and I am still amazed that the college could let you go--a professor with so much seniority and skill! But I am also deeply saddened by the articles I have read about so many wonderful teachers with PhDs and MFAs who apparently will never find the job security and the 'life of the mind' these wonderful teachers and writers have worked so hard for.

I am, needless to say, concerned for the students who are getting short changed here.

So many classes are being cut, or are being taught by overwhelmed, overworked and underpaid adjunct professors. In some cases these teachers barely make it to their classes on time after having to navigate clogged freeways between the two or three campuses they have to teach at just to squeeze out a meager living. I never had to live like this, but so many of my friends have.

Hopefully in the future things will get better. I agree that IVC was a much nicer place to teach at than most. Fortunately, the students were held to a higher standard and were, as you say, sometimes really grateful for the benefits they received from really good instructors.

I really do hope you do get into UCI. You belong at the University level, and I think you will enjoy it more.

Robbi said...

Thanks my friend. The problem though about the University level is that the standards of teaching writing there are not at all what they were when we were being trained and first starting to teach. They are much lower than they are at the college now, and I have been told this many people, including students who have been in my class after taking classes at the U.
However, Humanities Core is another thing. That is my model for creating curricula, and I hope I can get back in there and teach that class.

Robbi said...

I meant to thank both of you.