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Profile in Courage: 70-Year-Old Philly Freeway Flyer Juggles Classes and Chemo

by Monica Yant Kinney

Cecilia Ready lives up to her name. We’d just started talking about what it’s like to be a 70-year-old adjunct professor working through a third bout of cancer when Ready’s tongue grew heavy and she began slurring her words.

“Come,” she insists calmly after calling her doctor, “we’ll do the interview in the E.R.”

I hesitate, but am assured by her colleagues in the English department at St. Joseph’s University that Ready’s unbridled determination is not a reaction to chemo or steroids.

The Springfield, Delaware County, grandmother (pictured, left) is part of a legion of underpaid workhorses imparting freshman fundamentals at prestigious schools across the Main Line. She practically lives in her 1999 Ford Escort, hustling from St. Joe’s to Widener to Villanova.

When you make $3,000 per class, you lecture whenever and wherever offered – including prison. Ready taught lifers in the State Correctional Facility at Graterford.

Tenured professors like Ready’s pals Ann Green and Jo Parker teach three courses per semester. Ready’s record: Seven. On her best year, she still earns less than the $50,000-plus her students spend in tuition, room, board, and beer. And adjuncts must pay for their own health insurance.

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Short URL: http://www.adjunctnation.com/?p=4519

1 Comment for “Profile in Courage: 70-Year-Old Philly Freeway Flyer Juggles Classes and Chemo”

  1. wow, strong women. very rarely there are women like this,
    women who can inspire people.

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