So I called the junior college today to ask about ordering textbooks and submitting my syllabus, things like that, and experienced one of my deepest anxieties. Since I was a youngster, even into my teens and early adulthood, I would answer the phone at the family home in a manner that went something like this:


“Hello,” I say with the phone to my ear.

“Shirley?” responds the caller.

“(sigh) no”, I begin, lowering my voice and adding a tinge of didain, “this is her son, Mike.”

The woman I spoke to at the junior college was quite nice and said she would email me the requisite form for me to order books. The email I received was a forwarded conversation between her and the woman who orders the books. The first line in their string of conversations reads, “We have an adjunct teaching this fall and she wants to order her books. She’s not in the system yet; I guess H/R puts them all in during August. Can she order her books now or do we have to wait?”

I’m looking forward to meeting both of these women.


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