On Sunday prior to week two of classes, I received a phone call asking me to step in and take over a class I’ve not taught before. It had been assigned to another adjunct, but that instructor never showed up to class in week one* I said I’d step in, help out, because the department had no other instructors for the course.
The class was scheduled to meet the next morning. I raced home to concoct a syllabus, assign a textbook, request a desk copy of said textbook, and put together a “first class meeting” lecture.
When I arrived on campus Monday, faculty greeted me with “I’m so glad we could offer you a class this term!” rather than “thank you for stepping in at the last minute!” And that’s when I realized (like, really realized) that I’m valued only for what I can do for the department. I'd responded to an academic booty call.
You know what I mean? That late night, out of the blue, phone call from someone you’re crazy about? But that person only gets in touch with you when horny, alone, and possibly drunk?
“Hey baby, what are you doing? Want to come over? I want to see you. We can just talk all night if you want. Or cuddle. We can cuddle”
When you arrive:
“Oh, baby, I’m so glad I could be here for you. I know you have needs. Let’s head on back to the bedroom”
In the morning, you might feel used and (slightly) sullied, but you remember that you went into it with open eyes and clear intent. You might feel a bit embarrassed about your desperation to be “liked” by this person you’re so infatuated with—so desperate that you damage the self-esteem you’ve cultivated so carefully.
You might say “sod this arrangement. I’m deserve; I deserve to be treated like a queen/king by someone who loves all of me.” You might even believe this statement. Until the next booty call.
(sotto voce: "I'm too old for this")
*I never found out what happened to the instructor. I do hope he/she is okay, that she/he was offered a FT position somewhere, or a lovely alt-ac job, and just took off.