Four Talking Points

1. Adjunct Nation is populated by absolute rock stars; the tenured class are our roadies. Not the other way around. It’s very much time to testify!

2. Perhaps we’re living, as migrant intellectual workers, a Frankenstein moment where the monster has been abandoned and has now returned to confront and even destroy (Blade Runner-style) his maker. The makers are the Boomers and the monsters are the Xers and Millennials standing up for themselves finally. I fear this is the operative metaphor the Adjunct Nation must imagine and confront.

3. After the retirement crashes of 2002/03, the managerial class in higher education started to shore up their own resources and fortifications while many education workers were starting their indentured servitude as Graduate TAs, adjuncts, fellows, visiting professors, and independent scholars. Rather than create tenure lines, celebrate and build on success, build stronger departments, address the grown remedial needs of students TOGETHER, the Adjunct Nation was asked to become higher ed wet nurses, nannies, cooks, groundskeepers, field hands, and house servants (and so forth). *** I don’t like the way this is coming across; I’m sorry for any disrespect to struggling workers –we’re in this together!)  In other words, rather than even bother to create a real education economy that embraced real sustainable growth and cooperative living, the Master/managerial class (the Boomers and their Greatest Generation collaborators — or is it the other way around?) decided in both an active and tacit manner to protect their class interest, profit margins, bottom lines in ways that would even make a neocon blush.

4. We, the Adjunct Nation, love what we do, do what we do because we were inspired, work at job that “does” something, do more than just teach intro-level courses and advise students for a pittance, and inspire other to do something else, anything else, with their lives than become a collaborator with oppressive systems of education governance — our results are clear: we better teachers, writers, researchers, advisers, and, in many cases, administrators than the people making four times and above our working poor wage. We didn’t drop the ball or fail as “job creators.” We didn’t fall asleep on the job when students, teachers, library staff, custodial workers, and so many others needed administrative leadership and instead received a fresh batch “go away.”