Thar she blows!
Landed an interview with the chair of a nearby community college’s English department. I’m begging for part-time work, and it looks more than moderately hopeful.
A friend from a previous life is teaching there full-time. She got me in the chairman’s door, and he expressed interest. Those two say that though the community colleges have had some budget hits, too, the situation is nowhere near as dire as the university’s. My friend said the colleges are overrun with students, meaning they’ll need adjunct faculty to handle the endless stacked sections of freshman composition.
Horrible, but better than starving, eh?
The community colleges here are part of the county and are supported by property taxes still hugely inflated by the real estate bubble. Taxes are based for two or more years in a row on a single evaluation. This year we will pay artificially inflated taxes on property valuations that now grossly overstate the real value of most houses in the county.
Because community college tuition costs a fraction of the universities’ (which have been soaring the past few years), many university-bound students take their lower-division courses at the community colleges, saving a bundle on college costs. And of course, if you’re a out-of-work cabinetmaker or drywall hanger hoping to learn accountancy, it would behoove you to get the best price you can on your general-studies courses. So it’s not surprising that laid-off workers are flooding into those schools. Their tuition helps to keep the smaller colleges afloat as the Great Desert University and its two sister institutions sink like a fleet of Titanics.
If I’m extraordinarily lucky and can pick up two courses in the fall, before GDU cans me, I can bank the net, which will help ease the way into poverty. It should more than cover COBRA, leaving me all of Social Security and a little more than half of investment income to live on. And, unless I’m mistaken, it’s not gross but net income that’s counted against your Social Security benefits, so I should be able to take on a few editing projects, too. All told, I could end up netting about $700 less than I earn now. I think I can live on that.