Today marks the beginning of a new semester and of what will (hopefully) be my last year at UIC. It is not that I don’t like teaching here but I am really looking forward to getting a job as an actual professor, which does not pay me dumping wages. No, it’s not all about the money. It’s just that starving is only fun for so long (even within a clearly bourgeois frame of mind where starving merely equates to “paying one’s dues” and not truly to starving, or a situation of permanent lower-class exploitative labor–but still: enough already). I do have a teaching gig here for the next two semesters but I will begin throwing myself on the job market beginning in late September and hope to have an actual job somewhere in the US (or somewhere in the world) come March/April. Initially, I was worried that the last year here would be bad for my teaching morale, as I expected that I would invest less time in it, be less enthusiastic and too distracted by the terrors of the job market and the insane amount of work left to do on my dissertation, but after having been on dissertation leave for a while I am actually really looking forward to teaching again. Hence, I put together what I personally think are two fun classes and I am quite excited to work through the assigned material with my students. Of course, this first-week excitement tends to fade quickly once one realizes that the intro class (which is one of the classes I will be teaching) is full of mechanical engineers and business majors who take it as a requirement and care fuck all about literature–but that is a given by now and I have developed some counter-interpellation strategies that tend to work pretty well. We’ll see how that goes this semester.
Consequently, this week I will begin by teaching some Raymond Williams and Fredric Jameson for theoretical context and we will begin to read Barthelme’s The Dead Father and Sam Shepard’s play “True West.” Should be a good first week–(famous last words).