Teaching and Learning Resources by Peter Pappas

In the Basement of the Ivory Tower

In an era of "tweets" limited to 140 characters, it refreshing to return to power of long-form writing. "In the Basement of the Ivory Tower" (The Atlantic / June 2008) details the struggle of the adjunct college lit teacher in the lower reaches of academia.

I work at colleges of last resort. For many of my students, college was not a goal they spent years preparing for, but a place they landed in. Those I teach don’t come up in the debates about adolescent overachievers and cutthroat college admissions. 
… But my students and I are of a piece. I could not be aloof, even if I wanted to be. Our presence together in these evening classes is evidence that we all have screwed up. I’m working a second job; they’re trying desperately to get to a place where they don’t have to. All any of us wants is a free evening.

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