I made a big decision this week: I won’t be teaching next semester. I love teaching. I LOVE it…but I’m learning that sometimes even if you love something, it may not be meant to be. I lost my full-time teaching contract at the art college, and then my alma mater picked me up as an adjunct for three classes. Even though I was just an adjunct, in my MIND I was still full-time. So when they offered me just one class in the winter, I was sort of shocked. To teach there, I’d already taken a pay cut of about 2/3 what I was making with a full-time contract, but I wanted to do it because, again, I love teaching and there was a slight possibility that it could turn into a full-time gig.
But. With only one class, it was certainly not enough to live on, even at the poverty level, and it would cut my narration availability by half. So…what could I do? Take the one class and hold on for dear life hoping that maybe I might be able to get a full-time teaching contract if and when it happens…or take a leap and decide to narrate full time?
I have a mix of emotions about this. I think I’m a good professor. I try to engage and inspire my students, and for the most part, I think I’m successful. But, honestly, I don’t fit with academia. I’m too creative for it. And to offset the cut in pay, I've been narrating around teaching and my stress level is atmospheric. But to just narrate? Narrating full-time is terrifying. What if I stop getting gigs? What if my voice gives out? What if no one wants audiobooks anymore? What if they stop hiring ‘regular’ talent and continue with the trend of hiring Hollywood stars?
Well, sometimes you just have to leap.
So. Goodbye classroom. Hello studio.
I don’t know if this is the right decision, but it feels right, especially financially. It does make me sad, though.
Funny thing…I wrote a letter to the department head. Sort of an emotional letter saying things like I’m so disappointed I can’t take on the class, and please keep me in mind for future classes, and I hope a full-time position will become available. Basically, I put my heart in an emo email. His response: You’re on our list!
Then I realized, yeah. I forgot. I’m just an adjunct here. I’m not a ‘real’ professor at all. And I’m easily replaced. It’s a little bit embarrassing.
This is okay though. Things are going to be okay. I’m going to narrate and hopefully have a little more time to write and read and exercise and…you know…live a little bit better, a little less rushed. But hopefully still make a decent living.