Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Lecturer of English

My career has been very slow to take off. I graduated with my Ph.D. in 2004 from UT-Dallas. I initially thought it would be a good idea to publish a book. So I wrote Diaphysics and got it off to a publisher. I probably should have concentrated more on writing academic papers and getting my poems published. I also made the mistake of thinking that doing adjunct work would create teaching experience that would eventually lead to a tenure-track position. Of course, I have since learned that doing adjunct work will do absolultely nothing for your career.

That may seem odd to say given the fact that I am now a lecturer at the University of North Texas at Dallas, where I was an adjunct just last year. It seems obvious that doing the adjunct work is what got me the lecturer job. However, not every adjunct was given a lecturer position. Why, then, did I get one?

While I was adjuncting, I also published quite a bit of work. Being an interdisciplinarian, it was mostly interdisciplinary work, and mostly on spontaneous order theory. I also have quite a few creative publications, and a few editorships, and some experience in theater. Also, I consulted on a book for Dr. Eric Bing at the Bush Center here in Dallas. It was this latter which seems to have led to someone deciding to offer me the developmental writing class, and later a few projects, including the development of a non-course competency-based option for developmental writing/reading. Their need for a specialist in developmental writing to teach this and the original course then led them to creating the lecturer position, which I applied for and got.

Yes, the adjunct position did get me in the door in this particular case -- but it was my other work that led to my current position.

And now that I have this lecturer position, I have been asked to develop a Writing for Performance class, based on my experience in theater. And there is some discussion of creating a student journal of some sort, based on my editor experience. These are the things that have gotten me where I am, not teaching experience.

Those of us in academia have heard the phrase "publish or perish." I am convinced it is true. Publish and participate in a variety of social activities. Otherwise you will perish on the island of adjuncts.
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