“A world without Rebecca is not a world worth living in,” she said. A little extreme perhaps, but I appreciated the sentiment. She was the dean of the natural sciences department. I was a well-liked adjunct instructor of anatomy and physiology. I had just told her I was leaving her institution to adjunct at another one that was closer to home and paid more. (Not much more – adjuncts get paid peanuts, but that’s another story.)
When I told my mother I was going to another institution to teach a different course, she shook her head and laughed.
“Most teachers get their first couple years under their belts, then get to the point where they have all their materials set so they can just focus on the teaching. Not you. You’ve got all you need to teach the same course, but you’re bored and move on to start all over again.” Yeah, that’s me.
Every time I leave a job, I recall my most memorable resignation. I was almost 26. I hated my consulting job and no one there knew it, so my boss was shocked when I walked in with a resignation letter. She said, and this is a direct quote, one I will never forget, “I hope you know what you’re doing.” As if working for her was some grand opportunity I was giving up. Ha! I left and drove across the country, hiked the Grand Canyon, and never once missed her or that job.
I haven’t gotten anything near that response since. Last Wednesday, I told my new department chair I would not be returning because I’m going traveling for a year. She had the same look I’d seen on the face of my old department chair. Maybe they get trained for this? Maybe she had an inkling something was up when I didn’t apply for one of the three full-time positions they opened while I was there. I explained, “I don’t really do full-time jobs. I need a little more variety.”
When I told her all about my trip, she was excited for me.
“How did you keep this in all semester?!” she asked. I explained that it had all been in my head, but plans hadn’t solidified til a few months ago.
“Send us a note, or pictures,” she said. “And if you decide you need to make a little money at some point, you can always call me up and we’ll have a course for you to teach.”