Sex Ed in Higher Ed

College instructor teaching human sexuality rants about the dumbing down of America, the lost art of manners, grammar and (the perfect combination of both) the thank you note. Also includes random rants about life, pet peeves, and sometimes raves about favorite things.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Career Crisis Kicks into High Gear

Sigh. What the hell is my problem? Whenever I have a career crisis (approximately every 2 and 1/2 years since I was 21), I try to think of rainbows and bunny rabbits (I just typed bunny Rabbis which actually made me laugh out loud. I'd like to meet some Bunny Rabbis, considering I think I was born into the wrong family and I actually belong to a big mess of Jewish folks), unicorns and twinkly stars and fairies. And then when that makes me feel like I'm 7 and even more pathetic, I remind myself of the Drew Carey quote (I'm going to butcher it, but you'll get the gist): "Oh, you hate your job?! Why didn't you SAY so. There's a support group for you. They meet every day at the bar after work, and it's called EVERYONE."

In case you missed it, Inappropriate Sister did a number on me this semester. Between her finger shaking e-mail, her weird almost gospel-preacher response to Kiki, and her missing the final AND the make-up final, I'm still traumatized. Oh - and I never even MENTIONED one page in her final paper (one that did not include references to Anchorman or Patch Adams.) I think my rubric for their papers is pretty clear. And I know that nowhere does it say, "After you've reviewed and reacted to the movie or guest speaker, take a page or two to tell me how you feel about my teaching." But, since Inappropriate Sister has never been one to follow rules or guidelines - wait, she's actually more likely to make up her own guidelines, guess what she did? She took a page or so to tell me how she felt about my teaching. And guess what? It wasn't good. Mr. J. keeps telling me to blow it off and get over it, because her main complaint was . . . (ready? It's really almost hilarious): I talked too much about sex. By doing so, I made college students feel like they had to have sex. Or, as she put it, "Meaningless sex with so many random partners, throwing their bodies around like unwanted toys." Instead, I should have talked about how we all have a wonderful heavenly Father, and his son Jesus loves us as the precious, priceless, unique creations that we are. If I had talked more about that instead of sex, then students might understand that they don't have to have sex until they're married.

I rode (and obviously am still riding) the emotional rollercoaster of pissed off . . . perplexed . . . slightly amused . . . vexed . . . confused . . . back to pissed off and then some. Because: I talked too much about sex!??!?!?! It's the NAME of the fucking CLASS for Chrissakes!!!! And also? It's a STATE school!!!!!!!!!!!! She may be able to miss final #1 and final #2 with no consequences, but me!? I would be fired in a heartbeat for talking like that.

And people who have been teaching college students for decades (including Mr. J.) have said, "There's one every semester." My advisor said, "Maybe you're not meant to be an academic. You have to learn to put your game face on. And not react so strongly when people mention Jesus." But you know what? I don't know if I have it in me to do this for another semester. And another. And another ad infinitum until death or retirement, whichever comes first.

Anyway, just for kicks, I saw a job posting online on Wednesday and submitted my resume. This job would take me back to my old life. Back to a life of egos, politics, power trips, sucking up, mind games and bullshit, which is different from what I'm doing now . . . how? Oh, yeah. The pay is literally 10 times what I'm making now.

Yesterday, as I walked in the door, the phone was ringing and I didn't look closely at caller ID. It was a woman whose name I didn't recognize. She said, "We got your resume yesterday and we're SO excited. Do you have a few minutes for a phone interview?" I said of course I did. We chatted for 20 minutes. She's submitting my stuff to her boss. Maybe they'll call me back. Maybe not. We shall see.


Anonymous donna said...

Well, you certainly deserve more pay. Most people do, unless they're the CEO of Exxon making 35,000 and hour.

But we would miss all these wonderful stories - if you move to a new job, please keep writing! Just don't tell them where you blog....

June 09, 2006 11:50 AM  
Blogger ColoradoCastaway said...

WOW!! that was a harsh post!! a little inappropriate sister bashing a little self loathing and, Bam, she tops it all off with a nice juicy job prospect!! Good luck, just remeber that one of your requirements must be access to a computer with internet access so you can give us all the up to the minute play by play action LOL. If you are concerned about the jesus freaks in cleass just wear a "Satan Rules!" pin to work next semester, that'll shut em up a bit(maybe).

Why do they call it "Word" verification? how exactly do you pronounce this "word": lyqndzhw?

June 09, 2006 11:53 AM  
Blogger Sue said...

Oh, I can so relate to this post. I have this dilema on an almost daily basis and the shame of it is...much of it is perpetuated by my boss.

I work in public housing, the black sheep of the Federal government family. I don't work long hours (thankfully), but the pay sucks ass and it is so easy to get burned out. I'm really tired of everyone feeling that I somehow specifically owe them something, just by being in this line of work.

June 09, 2006 12:44 PM  
Blogger Fat Head said...

I understand the frustration of dealing with kids like inappropriate sister. I'd hate to see you give up on the PH.D after having come so far. I know you'll do what's best. It sounds to me like you've got your share of frustrations with the kiddies and maybe you need to escape for a while. One word of caution: I can speak from experience - and I know you know this...the biz world is full of just as many freaks. One of them may be your boss. At least with the kids, it's easier to understand that they're "beginners" and haven't had the real life experience - when you're in the big leagues, there's no excuses for the sorry folks that you may have to work with.

Just some food for thought. I know the grass always looks greener, and so does the money - but you have to go where you feel like you belong.

Whatever you do -- KEEP POSTING! I look forward to reading your blog every day!

June 09, 2006 12:47 PM  
Blogger Art Nerd Lauren said...

I got a similar critique, via email, from one of my little darlings. It took everything I had not to email that little bastard back, thank him for his "constructive criticism" and hope that someday, a future employer would have the grace, tact, and compassion to ream him like he reamed me. Little asshole. Among his complaints were that we didn't have all the answers (consequently, in ancient art especially-there often ARE NO ANSWERS, jerk!) and some other very minor complaints.

Not that I'm bitter, or anything. But I've decided to remember that this kid is just that, a kid. He has no idea what he's talking about, and some day, someone will be sitting in judgment of him. Eff him!

Whatever you decide, be happy, and keep writing!

June 09, 2006 12:55 PM  
Blogger Antique Mommy said...

I think teaching is a calling more so than a job. It has to be. My hat is off to you and those who do it. I had some fantastic teachers (once I left Catholic school) who really made a difference in my view of the world. I'll bet there are students whose names you don't even remember who say that about you.

June 09, 2006 2:08 PM  
Blogger liberalbanana said...

Ooh - good luck!! Today was one of my friend's last days at our job, which she hated. She has left for mo' $. Can't wait to hear what happens!

June 09, 2006 4:56 PM  
Blogger Mrs. T said...

I am so vicariously excited about the new job prospect! It's like a new relationship- the interview is like the blind date, or the first date. What to wear, what to say...

I left teaching altogether 2 years ago. I knew I had to when one Sunday, we were driving back home after a lovely weekend in Chicago, I started thinking about my week ahead and I started to cry. I am not an overly emo person, but I had had it. So I left. And now I'm back, but I'm teaching at a place where I feel I'm meant to be.

I know it's very easy to say to you "let it roll off your back", but I know it's not easy. When you've devoted time and effort to a subject and then devote more time and effort to imparting knowledge of that subject and dumbfucks like I.S. jus don git it, it just sucks. 2 years from now, promise that you'll laugh about the fact that one of the students in your Human Sex. class actually thought you talked about sex too much. I myself have gotten criticized by my students for speaking too much Spanish. In Spanish class.
Am dying to find out what's going to go down with the new job!!

June 09, 2006 5:32 PM  
Anonymous Julie said...

Well I sure would miss your college stories -- DUMASS? could you have possibly invented that? -- but I will be crossing my fingers and hoping for the best for you.

June 11, 2006 8:53 PM  
Blogger A'tuin said...

Hello, I just wanted first to thank you for the comment on my entry at Dotmom, and also to extend my sympathies. Inappropriate sister should probably read the class description before signing up. Jeese, ya gotta wonder at people like that, right? Do they just not know how to read, or is it a comprehension problem?

June 12, 2006 11:39 PM  
Blogger Fraulein N said...

Whoa! Good luck! I think it's a good sign that they got back to you so quickly.

June 14, 2006 12:05 PM  

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