Michigan State’s season opener was Friday, but more importantly, Friday was my last day working for the Michigan Department of Education. I may take on some very minimal contract work from them in the future (writing stories or test items from the comfort of my home), but I gave my notice, turned in my badge, and left the Hannah building for the last time.
A few weeks before that, you see, I had been hired as an assistant professor at Michigan State University. I now teach two sections of one of the first-year writing courses offered at MSU, and I’m focusing my course on new media literacies.
It’s nothing short of wonderful to once again be part of the MSU community. I have an office in Bessey Hall (the building I spent more time in than any other while I was a student in the professional writing program), a faculty parking pass (which still excites me beyond reason), and a brand new MSU ID (though I really don’t look like I’ve aged nine years). My colleagues are good, my students are good, and campus is beautiful.
The downside to all of this is that I’m not full time, nor am I eligible for benefits (my contract is only for one semester at the moment; I’ll find out in October if it will be renewed). I also took a slight pay cut. But, at the end of the day, when I come home exhilarated, excited to do some specific lesson planning for the next class, and ready to go back the next day, I know I’m in the right place. I still would love to move to editing some day, but if that day never comes, I have a truly magnificent job and community.