Virtual Bourgeois

Just An Analog Guy Trying to Upgrade For a Digital World

Yay! I’m Getting A Colleague!

Posted by Gerald on July 7, 2007

Ah, Saturday morning.  The dog is sleeping off her morning run, I’m well into my second large mug of coffee, Steeleye Span is playing on iTunes, and the temperature outside hasn’t gotten into the 90’s… yet. 

Now, to be honest, I already have a number of wonderful colleagues, but none of them teach history.  I have been the only full-time history faculty at our little Yale-Near-To-The-Yadkin ever since I was hired.  For a long time (since the late 1960s) we had two full-time history instructors.  One of them (a man who taught me when I was an undergraduate and then hired me as an adjunct faculty member many years later) retired.  This left us with one full-time instructor and many adjuncts.  At that point I  became a “full-time adjunct” (all the classroom hours, none of the benefits, less than half the pay) for a few years.  When that guy decided to retire a couple of years later, they had to hire at least one new history faculty, and they did.  It wasn’t me, which is another story.  Eighteen months later the person they hired decided to move on, the college had to fill that position and I did get hired that time.  Since then it has just been me.

Mind you, we have a lot more students now than when we had two full-time instructors, so there is plenty of work to do.  Our Associate Dean and my Department Chair had been pushing for another history position for awhile, and this year they finally got it.

My biggest work issue this week was interviewing applicants.  I was on two hiring committees this summer – one for a new history person and one for a new sociology person (we had hired a sociology instructor last summer -I was on that committee too- but for various reasons she isn’t coming back this year.)  I’m not going to get into any of that because of the privacy of those involved.  Suffice it to say that we found two excellent people and they both look likely to accept the positions we are offering.  Also, I have learned how different the whole process looks from this side of the table than it looked from the other.

I love history.  I love reading it, I love teaching it, and I love talking about it.  I even enjoy writing about it.  Until this week, I don’t think I’ve realized how much I’ve missed not being able to talk to someone with similar professional training and interests.  I really haven’t had that since leaving Iowa City ten years ago.  I’ve had people from OTHER fields to talk to, but no history people.  It isn’t the same.

I’m so happy I’m not going to be a one-man department anymore.



3 Responses to “Yay! I’m Getting A Colleague!”

  1. Steve said

    Need I remind you that you were also on that committee for the graphic designer?!

  2. Gerald said

    No, I remember. I can’t say that experience evoked quite the same responses in me as the other two. Still, I did learn more about what a graphic designer does.

  3. Jamilah said

    love your blog. i edit a newspaper about community colleges and wondered if you’d be interested in writing for us. if so please contact me via e-mail.

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