March 10, 2009

My New Job!!!

The economy makes me (and everyone else) anxious so, a few weeks ago, I decided to get a part-time job.

It's a good thing that I have my Ph.D. in something super marketable: medieval literature.

After applying for several temporary university teaching positions in subjects that I am not qualified to teach (i.e. ESL and American History), I slithered down the pedagogical food chain until I hit the single-celled organism, otherwise known as the Community Non-Credit Education Program. Upon examining the fifteen-page course catalog that I--and every other resident of Philadelphia--received in the mail, I found the perfect spot for my proposed course: in between sign-ups for the "AARP Driver Safety Program" and a course titled "How to Attract Birds to Your Backyard."


I called the program coordinator--a very nice woman named Pauline--and pitched my course idea over the phone. Throughout our three-minute conversation, I made a specific point not to mention the words "Middle Ages" and "fourteenth century." For some reason, when brought up in dialogue, these words tend to cause people to shudder and/or want to take a nap. Instead, I played to my audience by describing my course as "literature written by British senior citizens." Pauline liked my idea--and particularly the fact that I was not opposed to teaching the course at a local retirement home--so much that she agreed to send me an information packet in the mail.

I hoped that the letter would include how much I would get paid for my services. I assumed that I would get paid a lot because the program is funded by the local school district. As it turned out, the figure was even higher than I expected. Come fall, I won't get paid anything at all to teach my "Oldies But Goodies" course to Mel Gibson fans and Dungeons & Dragons warlords, but I will have the great privilege of shelling $75 out of my own pocket for administrative and fingerprinting fees.

"Crappe!" (Middle English for 'crap')

***
Anyone want to enroll?!

23 comments

Flying Saucer Jones said...

I would love to enroll, Jana, but I'm afraid that would cost you much more than $75 what with airfares, etc. :)

I hope the rest of the employers don't hear about this. There would be a rush to charge employees for the privilege of working.

Candice said...

Trying times indeed.

Have fun with that!

Karen said...

Congratulations????

Housewife Savant said...

I'd love to take your class, but the drive time would kill.

Monica said...

LOL. Sounds like you've 'fell into it' this time. Have fun.

Holly said...

On the up side, you'll be teaching people who are already familiar with the material as they were around when it came out.

Oh yeah, I went there. Sorry, I know it's wrong but I did it anyway.

Oh Boy...Oh Boy...Oh Boy said...

YIKES@@
so are you still going to do it!?!?

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

Sign me up! Should be a blast. My little brother taught a volunteer class at the library to help senior citizens learn how to use the Internet. One of them said, "Excuse me, you're not a very good teacher." We still laugh about it. I'm sure YOUR old folks will think you're fabulous!! :)

The Mother said...

I would SO take a course in medieval literature. As long as I didn't have to sit in a nursing home. Oh, the smell! Probably almost as bad as the middle ages must have smelled, what with the lack of deodorant and the fact that they were convinced that bathing removed the good humors and all.

I'm afraid, though, that billing Medieval Lit as "Oldies but Goodies" might be just a bit of untruth in advertising...Especially since radio stations that advertise "oldies" have 60s and 70s formats (that is 19 60s and 70s, not 13 60s and 70s).

Good luck, though. Maybe some of the nursing home denizens won't nod off.

Renny said...

Maybe you can request tips from your students, you know, like a teaching waitress or something...

Andy said...

So, are you saying that all the stuff I've been putting my family through as I strive for a Medieval Lit degree is going to get me into a nursing home? Awesome!
Yeah, I can make pretty much anyone's eyes glaze over. All I have to do is say that I'm planning on writing my dissertation on the reclassification of Anglo-Saxon short poems and I can see the interest pour from their faces like sand out of a broken hour glass.

Karen said...

Hey I nominated you for a blog award.....check it out at www.nowdontgetmestarted.blogspot.com

girlnblack77 said...

I'm searching my brain for the specific language that appears in our local school's course guide... something about the noncredit courses not being subsidized something-or-other and that the 'material fee' is to be paid directly to the instructor to offset his/her costs of teaching?? ...but it's mostly the art classes. Hey, could you include a component on medieval art? ;)

Felicia - I complete Me said...

Stopping by your site from momlogic. The name is great. That sucks that you have to fork out money and not receive money. I thought about teaching but I only have a BA so I don't think I'll be able to.

Lisa said...

Are you kidding me?! Surely you aren't still going to do it!

Anonymous said...

Hate to tell - I love reading about that time period; makes me wish I were old (sort of) in order to take the course (I live in Philly); Have fun - hope your students enjoy

Amy said...

Hilarious! I empathize. Today I got the pleasure of shelling out $10.00 for an "enrichment" class at my daughter's school. It's entitled "Italian Street Painting." When I actually read the syllabus, it sounds ALOT like sidewalk chalking while supervised by the art teacher. But,,, the things we do for love!

Nancy B said...

Please let me know how it goes. If it is well received, perhaps I could follow with a complimentary course detailing the fascinating world of Twentieth Century Avant-Garde French Theater. With both our efforts, the nursing home might be able to save some money on sleep meds. Just a thought...

Peggy said...

Congrats , just think how rewarding it will be.I just hope your student loans are paid off.

kerri said...

Surely the Meanest Mom can back out of this without batting an eye.

Stephanie said...

Congrats on the new job! I hope it turns out to be everything you're hoping for...and more.

lizcooper said...

Ummm, if I hadn't read quite a few of your posts at by this point, I'd really think you were joking. As it is, though, I think you should laugh to keep from crying.

~M said...

Re:"Crappe!"
Maybe "Crappe Diem" would be more suitable given the subject. I found your blog from C.Jane's. I, too, know the motivation to beat the tardy bell. I didn't make it Wednesday of this week. I blamed the time change...