I have not dreaded a school year starting this much since grad school. Or maybe even middle school.
My state government wants to kill my family and me and everyone else too in some kind of political power move. It is unpleasant knowing that super villains are both real and in charge. And most of the parents I know are too burned out to fight anymore. (The irritating “liberal” White Doods, though, are still happy to tell us that everything is pointless and also anything we do is wrong.)
Last year’s thing with the associate dean really killed my desire to get up in front of a required core class, especially one where I have all the people who signed up late because it’s an 8am class and the later sections are full. The previous year’s cheating scandal also still lingers. And the year before the insane and potentially dangerous student who started threatening me because on the first day of class I asked him to move up a few rows (and my chair just sat there after forcing a meeting with him and listened to him accuse me of things until I left)– he did get moved to the online version of the class and went on to threaten other female faculty members and students in his other classes… nothing was done about him.
I don’t want to go into the office, and one of the reasons is because the anti-masker pro-gun faculty member who encouraged last year’s student to go to the associate dean now has an office directly next to mine. And of course he goes in every day. I assume he’s gotten vaccinated, but if he keeps up what he’s been doing (meeting with crazy right-wing students unmasked in his office and classroom) eventually he’ll probably get a breakthrough infection. Who knows. Maybe he’ll take horse dewormer and get super sick. One can always hope.
I worry that I can’t protect my kids. DC2 is homeschooling but DC1 or I could easily bring the virus home. And probably zie would be ok. But there’s also a chance zie wouldn’t. Or that there would be long-term consequences that affect hir entire life. I will do a lot to protect my kids that I will not do to protect myself because they don’t have the power to make these decisions yet.
One of my colleagues quit this summer without another job lined up because he and his wife couldn’t stand living here anymore. Last night I dreamed he got a last minute position at Delagar’s school where masks are required.
I wish I were taking this semester off as unpaid leave. And indeed, if I get called into the associate dean’s office again this year, that’s what I’m going to do. Take leave without pay for the rest of the semester. The students can have the monotone adjunct for the rest of the semester while I do more job applications.
Maybe it won’t be as bad as I’m worrying. But now that I think on it, this class has been wildly problematic for the last 3 years. And this year I have nothing to protect me from the rabid Trump loving anti-masking anti-vaxxers like I did last year. It’s not irrational to be dreading this semester.
But I do have an escape plan. I can leave. Heck, I could even quit my career at this point and Barista FI (though being an actual Barista sounds pretty awful).