I’m organizing an event that takes place next week. On Tuesday. Which means I’m replying to a lot of RSVP emails with ‘I’m looking forward to seeing you on Tuesday’ when I really want to write ‘See you next Tuesday’.
Yesterday was a pretty terrible day. I had to call my boss at School 1, to ask him to give me a new contract with more hours. Boring backstory: I had been on a 20h per week contract, but went down to 8h last fall to accommodate the massive amount of better paid hours at School 2. My non-renewable contract at School 2 was up this summer. I told my boss this, and asked for unpaid leave, but he pushed my staying with the smaller contract, which we could revisit at the end of the year! So I talked to him in July, and oh well, enrollment’s dropping, maybe not, let’s talk in September! Don’t worry!
This is where things start to get painful. School 1 is part of a large chain, where all the lessons are pre-planned. The work I actually enjoy doing, where I feel useful, where I can be creative, fulfilled, is at university. Adjuncting in France is not any better than in the US, in fact worse in a lot of ways. You get paid once per semester, and the employment requirements are strict - you have to have a primary job of at least 900 hours a year. And that’s the only reason I want to work that much at School 1. During the summer I had a series of depressing emails with universities who expressed interest in me (so flattering!) but who passed me over for people were certain to have the emploi principal (so crappy).
I got one more offer this week, and I had almost completely given up hope that anything was going to work out. So I called my boss, told him I needed an answer urgently. And he said no. After being talked out of unpaid leave, I was now stuck with one barely part-time terrible job. I cried almost all day yesterday - the ‘almost’ being the three hours I taught. Paul made me breakfast for dinner, but I still cried. I cried when I woke up this morning.
And then! I checked my email, and there was a reply to my ‘sorry, can’t do it’ message. This last university said they would count my measly 8 hours a week as an emploi principal, and what times am I available for teaching? So maybe it will all work out, for at least another year?
The call-and-response from the driver of the little tourist train which runs down my street and the bartender downstairs:
'Rock and roll!'
I finished off a second glass of rosé. It’s really not rosé weather.
I got my schedule for September. This is going to be the first fall I’m not teaching at the university. There are moments where I think, ‘ha! I’m gonna sleep til 10 every morning and then hang out at the off-track betting place down the street and read lots of books! I’m fine!’ There are also moments where I think ‘no actually I am not fine at all.’
I probably should have gone to bed about an hour ago.
1. (Courtesy of fellow scoliosis patients) Don’t like having your behind hanging out of a hospital gown? Ask for two. Put one on forward and one backward. You could probably ask for twenty and the nurse will say yes. They’ve always got lots of hospital gowns.
2. (Courtesy of the beach ladies of Nice) Turn your flipflops over, and they won’t be so hot when you put them back on.
3. (Courtesy of a fonctionnaire who helped me with visa paperwork when I first moved here) Bring a book.
4. (Courtesy of my stubbornness) Using an American keyboard because getting used to a French keyboard would just be too hard is pretty dumb. Oh, the things I could have accomplished with the amount of time it used to take me to type ça, on l’a déjà fait cette année.
5. (Courtesy of my terrible life decisions) Get it in writing.
A lot of these are already getting bounced around in reblogs, but if you’re not working or have a job that lets you read at work, do check out:
Ta-Nehisi Coates in The Atlantic
Jelani Cobb updates in The New Yorker
Sarah Stillman wrote this about police militarization one year ago this month, as well as this about civil forfeiture, one way by which police departments get the money to buy all those tanks. From The New Yorker again. (The New Yorker archives are free at the moment, so you don’t need to use your dad’s password to read anything. Also, as part of the site redesign, they have eliminated comments, and this is really a good thing.)