Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Sour Grapes

Today I feel bitter. And angry. But mostly bitter. Pitt only gives teaching assistantships to two MFAs per genre per year. So that means out of the fifteen nonfiction people, only six are "allowed" to teach at Pitt. I like to call them the chosen ones. There's no application process and the spots are handed out by the rotating professor who is in charge of admissions the year students apply. I am not a chosen one.

I've found ways around it. I tutor. I teach community writing classes. I'm teaching kids this summer. But then I get really angry when the students who do teach get extra bonus opportunities.

For example, the folks who teach are allowed to get $18/hr this summer to read college placement essays and recommend appropriate English classes. I applied to do this. I tutor the very same writers. I know the difference between the remedial writing and the standard freshman comp. class writing. I know just as intimately and probably more, since I've worked with writers from both groups unlike the chosen ones.

But today I got an email saying I am not allowed to do this job and they have given all the spaces to students with "teaching experience for the English department." Screw them and their haughty tone! Screw those chosen ones and their free pizza every Monday and Thursday evening as they read essays and assign kids into random classes. I'll be spending four hours a week with each of those kids next year, huddled in the writing center. What I really want is for someone at this university other than the writing center director to acknowledge that what I do is challenging and difficult and that I am good at it. Even if I'm not a chosen one.

Bitter!!! Bitter!!! Bitter! I am bitter today.

3 comments:

Em said...

That just plain sucks.

Anonymous said...

What happened to being excited about getting "full tuition and health benefits and a hearty stipend"? Welcome to the real world where there is always someone with more & someone with less!

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