Well, I have officially finished my first year of the PhD History program at UC Davis. To be more precise, I finished my first year a couple of months ago, when I turned in the last of my final exams for Spring Quarter around the second week of June. I meant to write these reflections immediately after finishing the school year, but then I got caught up with other obligations and I was, frankly, pretty tired of writing. I took a job right after school ended, teaching another course at Solano Community College. The new dean of the college called me up and offered me the opportunity to teach a summer course before Davis had ended. Because Davis is on the quarter system, and SCC is on the semester system, that summer class began only one week after my graduate classes finished. In fact, I was planning the summer course at SCC before I had finished my classes at Davis.
Well, my first semester as an adjunct History professor ended less than a month ago. The students in the course that I was teaching, HIST 037, “Women in American History,” took their final on Monday, December 14, and I spent the next few days grading those exams and submitting their scores online. Now that a few weeks have passed, I wanted to start a new series of blog entries that would do two at least things. First, extend my gratitude to everyone who makes these courses possible, from the staff and faculty of Solano Community College (SCC) to the maintenance crew, and to the students themselves, who gave me the benefit of the doubt when I was less prepared than I should have been, and who extended excellent feedback during our last seminar. Second, share some initial reflections about life as an adjunct (part-time) professor at a community college generally, and as a teacher of “Women in American History” specifically. This blog post is intended to start an ongoing exploration of these topics. I plan to follow-up with more posts throughout the year.