I lead a double life.

No…I am not secretly addicted to drugs.

No…I am not a secret agent.

No…I am not having an affair…though I am married and have two kids currently under the age of 4.

Let me explain.  I currently work two jobs.  My “job” is, for lack of a better term, a “normal” full time one that I go to five days a week.  I do not consider this job a “career,” even though I have had it for the better part of a decade.  It is simply a way to pay the mortgage and keep my children fed.  My second job, however, that is the one that I love.

I am a Part Time Professor.

I have been employed, the past several semesters, as an adjunct professor.  Paranoia keeps me from giving out too many specific details, but what I will say is that I teach in one of the humanities disciplines at a small, church-affiliated, liberal arts university in the Western United States.   The key adjective in the previous sentence is “church-affiliated.”  My school openly claims to be molding tomorrow’s Christian leaders and, as such, a vast majority of the student populace (and nearly all of the faculty) are politically conservative Christians.

I am a politically progressive (some might say socialist), agnostic.

I have been able to, thus far, successfully mask my social, political, and theological beliefs because I was raised in the same denomination that is the school’s particular brand of Christianity.  I even went so far as to attend an undergraduate school of said denomination (even as I was coming to accept my own agnosticism) so I can “talk the talk,” as it were, fairly convincingly.

As the semesters have rolled by, though, I’ve found in more and more difficult get over the increasing trend of hatred expressed by the 18 year olds that come through my classes.  More and more I’ve seen young men and women enter into their college years with hard line opinions and beliefs, many of which are unexamined and/or not fully understood.

Let me just say that I have the utmost respect for those who can hold a firm and true belief in any religious construct.  On a very elemental level, I envy those people because I seem incapable (truly, as I age, more and more incapable) of such faith.

That said, in the courses that I teach, I see a frightening large amount of indoctrination.  Many of the courses I teach are freshman level courses on rhetoric and composition…essentially, I am supposed to be teaching these kids how to articulate logically valid, persuasive arguments, and how present those arguments properly in the context of academic papers.  For instance, every semester I read a large number of papers that argue for the abolition of abortion.  Given the nature of the school and students that I teach, that isn’t really a shock.  And as a parent myself, even one who is pro-choice, I understand the emotional pull that the abortion issue can have on a person.

When I read four plus pages, however, arguing how the Bible shows abortion to be morally abhorrent to God, I am forced to point out that, as an exercise in persuasive argumentation, the Biblical arguments are essentially useless.  To be fair, there are students who come to understand that the only people a Biblical argument works on are those who already hold the same opinion.  But often I come across the student who, despite my best efforts to explain that other argumentative tactics would be more effective, cannot comprehend how any one would not accept Biblical evidence as “the word of God.”

For anyone who has read this far, you might be thinking that I am merely prejudiced against the “conservative” opinions of my students because of my own personal politics.  I believe, though, that I walk a fairly middle lane path in my courses.  Every once in a while I’ll get a paper, for instance, that argues in support of gay marriage.  In class, as an instruction exercise, I always have my students peer edit each others’ papers, and I really do strive to be just as critical of arguments I agree with as those that I do not.

I assume I’ve done a fairly good job of masking my actual political beliefs because I continue to be given courses, semester after semester, and as far as I know have had no students complain to the administration that I am “too liberal”…and believe me when I say to you that such a situation is a very plausible fear on my part.

So I’ve started this anonymous journal as a way to purge myself of my frustration and fear.  Perhaps I can come to some better understanding about why it is that I’m doing what I’m doing, or maybe I’m just wasting some time.

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