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best of: freelance academic instagram, this week

Updated: May 7, 2023

#finalsweek –– really the week when finals BEGIN (today), but the lead-up is rough on instructors because we are trying to get all of the people who have suddenly realized the urgency of the calendar (who can relate??) ready before onrushing time smacks them in their mostly-undeserving faces with consequences disproportionate to their tardiness (aka: our students are panicking, and we're trying to organize the troops for one last push).

My Freelance Academic Pre-Finals Shenanigans (in no particular order):

Ignore my ugly-ass feet (seriously, why are my feet even like this?? DON'T ANSWER THAT). Enjoy the #1980s #musicmashup instead!

Note: Wix is very iffy on whether these #Instagram embeds are going to show up. If you have trouble seeing them, you can always view on Instagram, where you should totally follow me.

The editing team I'm on was promised a $50 bonus each if we finished all of the articles for next month –– normally due by the 15th of the month –– by the 5th this time. $50 is about enough for a week's groceries if I don't eat anything really good, and I was trying hard to earn June's rent in May because even if the university at which I've been #adjuncting hires me back for next Fall, I won't get another check until October.

That's the freelance academic lifestyle for you.

My teaching income for the past five months of work, cumulatively, adds up to around $3,900 after taxes (no, I am not missing a zero), so this summer is looking very bleak (on the upside, I don't teach in the summer, so if anybody happens to have a really enticing digital ethnography or semiotic research project that's been just waiting for the right academic to come prancing along, hit me up!!).

Wix tells me I need a photo to add because all these Instagram embeds somehow don't count. Fine:

an academic explaining AI concepts looks down at a sticky note in her hands
here i am, explaining how/when to use ChatGPT in a video for my students

Stuff Happened to the other members of the editing team, and I ended up putting in a LOT of hours trying to get our $50 apiece –– I was still working on articles this afternoon, even though I got notification last yesterday that the boss was going to go ahead and assign the bonus anyway because we'd worked so hard.

Just tallied up and I have, all by myself, edited 22 articles since April 30th, when they really started rolling in (can't edit until the articles are written, for obvious reasons).

Way most of them have been since this Monday –– and I did that while grading I've-forgotten-how-many-essays and coaxing my students through their last rounds of revisions.

Speaking of:

Here I am, describing the experience (on Wednesday, which means I was just about clearing the halfway point between Monday and editing deadline).

^ This one is from today (Friday), closing in on deadline and just about wrapping the next-to-last article, feeling a little wistful about this last week-and-a-half with my kids and grieved by the way we don't reward, because we don't collectively value, the kind of heartbreaking, muscle-aching, mind-bending work I do for these students.

They were a good crew this time; I'm going to miss them.

The rest of you can go take a hike, straight to the ballot box; vote for somebody who will fund education and educators. College students should be able to f*cking read before they get to my class; they shouldn't be floundering through basic sentence structure on their way to a thought.

Bright minds shouldn't be starting from as far behind as a lot of them are, and the people who sweat and cry and bleed to build the scaffolding under them while they climb ought to earn a damn #livingwage ffs.

And that's my story and I'm sticking to it.


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