Can’t Teach = Can’t Sleep?

Seems like, on the weekends, I’m finding it more and more difficult to fall asleep.  Like today.  Tonight.  This morning.  I slept later in the day, from seven to ten in the evening, and now I’m wide awake at three in the morning.

And I suppose that’s enough of an explanation.  I don’t really exercise, so that can’t be good for the ol’ sleeping thing, either.  But, here we are.

The good news is I landed a logic course for the fall.  One section.  It’s been two years since I taught for the university.  I thought not teaching for a couple of years might have something to do with not sleeping, with—depression?  Is that here again?

I stopped by the department office to catch up with the admin secretary.  She mentioned how I had been scheduled for removal from the system, that from time to time folks just “stop teaching.”  That struck me odd, for a few reasons.  For one, I had contacted the dean every semester begging (okay, not begging, asking) to teach the following semester, only to be told that nothing was available.

For another reason, it seems to me most curious that anyone ever just “stops teaching.”  Maybe it’s only where I’m coming from, but anyone I’ve ever known who teaches does it for a living.  The better ones live to teach.  So, in order to make sense of the idea that someone “stops teaching,” I had to imagine why (in the weaker case) one gives up their livelihood or (in the stronger case) one gives up living.

Now I can imagine all kinds of reasons why one gives up on living, most of them more or less variations on the notion that one has no conceivable reason for getting out of bed in the morning.  Less surprisingly, tied as I am by the fear and loathing that have come to envelop me over the years from poverty and destitution, I find it much more difficult to imagine why anyone would give up their livelihood.  Put another way, when the administration tells their adjuncts that no teaching is available for them this semester, and they tell them this for four straight semesters, how do we think adjuncts react?  How do we think they should react?

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