Thursday, August 31, 2017

Decorating, maybe



"You don't decorate!" remarked numerous NMSU professors when they poked their head into whatever office I had been assigned that semester. Why didn't I hang up some show posters? Why didn't I stock up the book shelves in my Theatre Arts office? Why didn't I make myself more at home?

My office in Theatre Arts was more visible than my office at CMI, which was a storage room in a retired dormitory. That office had the advantage of being quiet. But honestly, I could have died in there and no one would find me for days.

At every entreaty about my decor, I would tell the truth, reminding them that I was an adjunct teaching at-will, usually part time, and could be let go at any point, so I wasn't about to fill up the book shelves or hang things up knowing I might have to break it all down again. And indeed, Theatre Arts refused three times even to consider me a serious candidate for a faculty position; and the Creative Media Institute was very pleased to have me, but in the state's budget crisis, NMSU drastically curtailed money for adjuncts and at the end of 2016 I was let go.

For that reason, I haven't "moved in" to a work space in a decade. I have long maintained that I would not hang up so much as a poster in my workplace until I am offered a permanent job as a regular hire. I've gotten used to bare walls and empty shelves because - well, no one would hire me on any basis except contingency.

Four and a half months ago, I started a temp job working at the Headlight under surprise circumstances, doing work I'd never done before. News reporting. Writing for a newspaper (and website). What a novel idea.

Last week, I had a conversation with my boss's boss. Today, I got an email.

Tomorrow, I'm going to hang something up on the wall.