Friday, August 28, 2015

ACE ACE baby

So I'm back to teaching. It's nice. It can expand to fill all the time that I'm not faffing about on the Internet, which might become a problem, and we are having some warm weather that is sapping my energy or possibly my knee is tiring me out a bit still, because it still hurts a bit. But really the problem I'm dealing with right now --- as are my students, I'm sure --- is transportation.

Where I live? Over here, on one part of the bay (yes, this counts as the Bay Area you snobs shut up). Where I picked up some classes? Over... there. It's actually not far in miles but then I was listening to the news while driving and the dj guy said "well that's why we never measure anything in miles in the Bay Area, only in minutes." And then it took me 45 minutes to get across my town what with the lights and traffic. Wait, lemme check. 6.4 miles. Oh.

So I don't like driving to Adjunct Town in general and particularly right now it freaks me out because it was my right knee I messed up and it does not like pushing the gas pedal. And it is very swollen when I get out of the car. Plus, I got a night class and I am driving back late in the dark and every freaking freeway or road is full of crazy construction, funneling us down to a single lane and then moving us all from this lane to that lane and back. Yuck.

All is not lost, however ... I can take the train! I'm not far from the ACE train, and Adjunct Town CC is... Not far from the bus you can transfer to from the train. It has its pluses and minuses. But since the bus only comes once an hour in the evenings and likewise the train and then everything shuts down not long after my night class gets out, I think I will stick to driving on night class day.

But my twice a week class day is in the middle of the afternoon! Score!

I have figured out how to do the tickets and transfers (mostly) and I have been taking advantage of the time to prep and grade and read things! Nice, huh? I'm not so good about grading on the way back  (5pm urrrrgh tired) but I have inhaled most of a lovely, devastating Toni Morrison novel: Home

It feels very appropriate for Black Lives Matter, in a very depressing way. It seems almost addressed more to white people ("why do we keep saying black lives matter? Here's where you said they didn't. And here, and here, and here.") and there is something a little bit.... Thin? Underdeveloped? To it, but that might be me wanting or expecting a little more world building and detail. I'm out of practice in reading.

So the good news is that I should be able to get back in the habit of reading things, and maybe even writing things. The bad news is that there is a lot of waiting time and transfer time and the bussing all the hell all over things time. (And I know none of my students read this but, hey students! You should really be thinking about maximizing your time and reading/studying on the public transport rather than playing on your phone! I see you being bored over there.)

The other bad news is that it's pricey! Yeah yeah I know, it's a public good and nobody is paying the taxes to support those goods, and you think it's mostly tech commuters taking it so what does it matter if it's running like 10 bucks to get somewhere, but really I see a lot of low-wage workers and students on it, and I bet that's one of the million ways the high cost of living in the bay hurts student transfer and graduation rates. GradSchoolLand had subsidized busing with a current student id and I plugged that shit so hard to my students. Here it's 3 bucks to park and then the ticket and then another 2 to bus over to campus. So your minimum-wage shift might just about cover a day's travel to and from campus, and meals. I'm not sure how my driving costs break down but I'm definitely using a half a tank or so for a trip. (That might be for two days, hmm. I'll have to keep track now that I'm not going in every single day to sign paperwork.)

And in other other news, I'm still squeezing out a trickle of job apps every couple of days, with no response, and I guess I have to up those rates if I ever want to actually land a job of some sort. Sigh. That must mean getting off the blog and locking up the internets. Grumble grumble.


Contingent Cassandra said...

My uni (in a purple state, and a bluish-purple local jurisdiction) offers both a free uni-sponsored shuttle bus from the end of the rail line (10-20 minutes away depending on traffic), and a free ride on the local circulator bus with university i.d. (for students and staff; takes a bit longer because of more stops). This may be more out of a desire to use land for something other than parking lots than out of the goodness of their hearts or deep commitment to public transit, but, still, it's a nice perk. So, yes, it would be nice if the institution would find a way to knock the $2 for the campus-to-rail connection out of the equation.

Glad to hear you have the cc classes for structure; best of luck with the applications for a full-time job.

Bardiac said...

Here's wishing you a good semester! And yes, everything in the Bay Area is so expensive and it takes forever to get anywhere!

Yanglish said...

Good luck in teaching.