Six or so months ago, I got into a nasty fight with some folk in the Democratic party about how Camp Hillary really, really could have worked on its rhetorical approach with college kids. My argument was that she didn’t do outreach with disaffected, younger Bernie voters who are staring down the barrel of paying their student loans off for the rest of their (our) lives, and their argument was that I was an entitled asshole who basically gave Trump the election.
At the height of this argument, it came out that I had no real job aside from the irregular creation of comics and other fiction. This was used to smear my character, mostly, but also someone asked to see my resume when I countered that looking for jobs is much, much easier than finding jobs – a concept that I still don’t think wealthier Democrats seem to understand. At least not in the Midwest.
I low-key thought the person might be hiring, so I showed this random internet stranger my resume…
…and he told me I had wasted my entire life and that my education was worthless. Internet strangers are like that; they’ve got no means of facing consequences for their words, and no investment in the people they’re talking to.
So here’s what all this wind-up was about:
I’m now an instructor at two community colleges.
The classes I’m instructing are all a bit surprising to me. I’ve got a master’s in communication, and at my alma mater, communication and English are different animals, meaning that I thought I’d end up teaching classes like public speaking or history of media if I ever got a gig as a college instructor.
I wanted to teach composition and literature, but I got accepted into a communication program before I got accepted into an English program, and I had already accepted one when the other came through.
Then, as a communication student, I ended up being a worker bee at the PSU Writing Center, helping students write better papers and familiarizing myself with Writing Center praxis.
…only the find, of course, upon graduating, that I was not a hirable person for the Center I had just finished working for as a student. I’m decent friends with the person who heads this Writing Center, so I know that it’s a matter of policy that I’m not really eligible for a big-person job there, or in the English department in general, and I had assumed this would be true of every campus. I had this feeling that the internet stranger was right, and that I’d mismanaged my education and was basically doomed to die in a gutter.
And now I’m working for two different community colleges, teaching as an adjunct. I’ve got two sections of research writing classes, one section of general literature, and one section of English composition I.
All my paranoia and neuroses about finding a job didn’t matter. All my assumptions didn’t matter. Internet stranger didn’t matter.
Two administrators at two different colleges looked at my resume, said, “he’s qualified, yep,” and then hired me.
Tides rise and fall. If you’re down and out on a job, I won’t end this post by promising you that life is destined to get better. I’m a white dude and that comes with a lot of power where finding a place in society is concerned. That absolutely worked in my favor here.
But I will say that, hey, random internet stranger who told me I was worthless? If you’re reading this?
You were wrong. =)