The Well-Rounded Adjunct: Moonlighting
By Helene A. Matheny
When I returned to the United States from my graduate studies in London in 1998, I knew I wanted to teach, but didn’t really yet know how to find adjunct work. In the meantime, I needed some income! By strange fate, I happened to see a want ad for “planetarium instructor/director” in one of the local newspapers. Astronomy was the farthest thing from my graduate degree (Russian History and Literature), however the cosmos was one of my childhood passions and, coincidentally, I had worked in the local high school planetarium while in Middle School. Needless to say, I was hired, and although the little county-run facility, Trailside Nature and Science Center , had not upgraded its equipment since the 1980s, I relied on my creativity and flexibility to present shows and educational programs to school groups, scouts and the public. In the end, this job ended up preparing me to be an adjunct – as the bare bones environment helped to hone my organizational and improvisational skills. (They sadly have since closed the little planetarium in the center).
As Freeway Flyers, we often juggle odd hours and schedules. But that does not mean that we
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