Friday, July 17, 2009


Over a year ago I realized teaching as a career wasn’t going to work out for me. I started to look into other options. But really, there’s nothing to compare to teaching at the college level for autonomy, creativity, and compensation. Not to mention the respect other people have for college professors.
Earlier this year my private college let me go, along with most of their other part-time teachers. Now the State of California is finishing us off. My normal teaching load was 4-5 classes per semester/quarter, or about 250 students. This fall I’m down to a three-hour-per-week art history lecture. Possibly one other short course through an adult ed program.
Those 200 students I won’t have in my classroom will be out of luck, because we adjuncts are not being replaced. I’m hoping this is where the public will be outraged, because these are not the poor or elderly who are affected, but the average taxpayer and his kid. I have an art historian friend who lost both of her upper division Renaissance classes. That means anyone trying to finish an art history degree won’t be able to, as the classes required no longer exist.
Anyway, it’s amazing that, though I knew the destruction of my career in education would happen, I’m still shell shocked. It’s like when you expect someone you love to die, you prepare for it, but when they do, you still can’t believe it, and your mourning is no less intense.
Well, life is short, we shouldn’t waste it, right?
A fitting masterwork, and one that continues to disturb: Giacometti’s “Woman with her Throat Cut,” 1932 at MOMA


Kevin Freitas said...

Kloe - any chance of you and your art historian friend teaming up to offer classes out of your studio? I'm sure some people would pay a nominal fee that would also provide some income during the job hunt... just a thought.

kloeamongtheturks said...

Am working on other teaching venues! Thanks for the thought.
But can you imagine, private art history lectures? That would really put on the pressure to read the text...

namastenancy said...

I really feel for you, other teachers and art students in this depressing time. I returned to college in retirement, lured on by the promise of low fees for us "elder" folk and my lifetime love of learning. Naturally I've gravitated to art and art history because I figured - now that my career was over - I could take art classes to my heart's content. I was shocked and dismayed to find them being cut, cut, cut and cut again. It sure let me know where the arts stand in the current recession - somewhere at the bottom of the list. I really feel sorry for those who love art and now, see themselves completely cut off and cut out. Even third world countries (well, some of them) respect the arts more than we do. I don't know what to say except that you have my deepest sympathy.

kloeamongtheturks said...

Thanks so much. Hopefully in a few years things will return to normal, although many think the state system is in for longterm damage.

I hope you find some good courses that challenge and provide joy. Cause it's all about joy, right?

ms. v. said...

Oh, Kloe, I've had my own difficult year and haven't been around on the web much at all, but I'm so sorry to hear this! And it is a damned shame for the students. What times these are.

Hang tough, lady... that's all I can say. But I'm thinking of you and hoping for the best.

kloeamongtheturks said...

Hey Ms. V...
All my bookmarks disappeared when my hard drive tanked, so lost contact with you.
Would love to know what you're up to!