Spring Break Is An Oxymoron

This week is Spring Break. Well, sort of. No, it is, but not necessarily for me. It’s break for some schools, some instructors, some kids, but not all of them. One of my colleges is, in fact, on break for the week. I teach two online classes and a face-to-face class there. In the face-to-face class we had the midterm last week and they couldn’t get out of that classroom fast enough. I warned them that we still had the second half of class to finish. One young man asked if I was going to get the midterms done early. I laughed. “I still have classes to teach at a different school. I’ll try, but I need to work them into my regular grading schedule.” He was shocked that I wasn’t on break. He said, “I thought I worked all the time, but your schedule is nuts.” He has no idea.

At the other college where I teach, I have classes this week, next week, and then one of the classes is on break for a week, and the other for two weeks.

Last Thursday, in one of those classes, I forgot where I was and tried to send them off on a break. They were thrilled at the idea of having the entire month off. “Not so fast,” I told them. “Even if I get confused, you have the schedule, you know when we’re supposed to be here.”

It would funny, this crazy schedule of mine. OK, it is funny. But my poor husband has his own crazy adjunct schedule that doesn’t line up with mine. Worse, I have a daughter in high school and one at the local university. Their schedules also don’t mesh with my husband’s or mine.  We used to take family vacations, but that just isn’t possible since we started teaching as adjuncts.

My older daughter asked for help with one of her final projects due this week. We laughed as we pulled out the calendars (on our cell phones and laptops) to find some time. She keeps getting confused because she’s on quarters, hence she’s in finals, and her father and I are on semesters, which puts us at midterms.

One of the real victims in all of this is my elderly father who can’t keep any of these schedules straight. My husband prints schedules for my dad, but we have to constantly update them. And my daughters have things come up weekly, sometimes daily, that cause them to need to be out of the house when the schedule says they should be home. It really confuses poor Dad. He has started just bolting and chaining the front door all the time. He doesn’t even check who’s not home yet. We have to call each other from outside and ask someone to take the chain off the door.

Worse than that, I have a dear friend who also teaches adjunct. She and I were hoping to get together for lunch over one of the breaks. Sadly, she’s at still other schools and none of our breaks line up. In fact, our personal schedules don’t line up, either. The previous weekend she left me a message on my Facebook asking if we could try to do lunch. She suggested the weekend, since our days are so crazy. While I teach five classes at three locations, she teaches something like nine classes at I-don’t know how many locations. She also works as a tutor at one of my colleges. On Thursday, last week, I called her. I got her voicemail. I left her a message that asked if she had Sunday off. I needed to take my daughter to get her senior portraits done on Saturday, so Sunday was the only day I had open.

She texted me back that Sunday she was taking her kids to the movies. Several texts later we tried to find a two-hour spot in our schedules but had no luck. Her last text was “we’ll have to play it by ear.”

My ear is getting tired and sore, though, because this keeps happening. You would think that I would be used to it by now, but I’m just not.

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