Happy October, friends. It’s Friday, so you know that means three things:
1) More Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice Rooibus in yet another novelty mug (and yes, I have enough novelty mugs to do a different one for every week of the JIL. Much to my minimalist husband’s dismay, I collect novelty coffee mugs).
This is a souvenir mug from the fake hotel that houses the Tower of Terror ride at Disney parks. I actually own three Tower of Terror-themed mugs, procured from three different trips to the Tower of Terror, that being but a fraction of the times I have actually been on that ride, which is my favorite ride. Anyway, this particular mug was purchased on the last day of March in 2013, at Disney World in Florida (my other two are from Disneyland in CA), where my friends Brittany and Matt were married.
2) Grocery shopping. Today is the first autumnal day we’ve had here in weeks — it’s basically been prolonged summer for as long as I can remember — so it was kind of like the first day of school with respect to me actually getting to wear some of the maternity clothes I’ve spent the last few months either sewing or shelling out for.
This is a stretch silk caftan-style shirt I made from this truly exquisite Catherine Malandrino print I got for an absolute steal from Fabric Mart Fabrics (not shilling for them; just really like ’em–though if they want to pay me to advertise, just let me know! I will happily sell out for you, Fabric Mart). They often sell designer overstock, and this silk was incredible. I think it originally retailed for something like $40 a yard, but I got it for $8. And unlike most silks of its weight, it was so easy to work with. It barely slipped around at all. And to wear, oh holy hell it’s like wearing butter. Another thing I did with this garment that was fun is that I arranged the drawstring casing and belt loops so that it could gather and tie in the back only, for a sleeker line (well, as sleek as a big fat pregnant lady can look).
I am wearing this getup with some Old Navy maternity leggings I got on sale for $10, plus the New Era of Schuman Shoes (Schoes?): FRUMP CITY FOREVER. These are Dansko ankle boots, motherfuckers, because my fucking feet are enormous and my back hurts all the time, and basically if you want me to wear high heels and look sexy, you had better stuff about $200 worth of singles into my granny panties (size XXL now, because it’s cheaper to just buy plus-sized regular underwears that fit over the bump, at 12 for $10, than special expensive maternity underwears just to keep some form of vanity-size dignity).
Anyway, the best part of this getup is that not 20 minutes after this was taken, I got some decaf at Whole Foods and spilled it all down that gorgeous print, and spent the rest of the grocery-shopping morning looking like I drooled all down my front. The funny thing is that I have probably been spilling coffee like that for years, but it probably just went onto the floor without me noticing it because I didn’t have a big fat belly to catch it.
Digression: I need to start an effective letter campaign now to Trader Joe’s, so that by the time my kid is like 2 they will have gotten rid of the Kid Carts. You know the Kid Carts. The Kid Carts are the nightmare come true of every parent, because they are specifically designed to capture the fancy (and stoke the obsession) of children who are at exactly the age where they will both NEED NEED NEED a cart of their own to push around, and in no way be fit to do so. Every kid I see with one of these in a Trader Joe’s is a) beyond delighted, and b) either busily procuring $3000 worth of canned oysters, or busily ramming said cart into whatever he can see. The idea that I could in any way deny my kid the Kid Cart is preposterous — the thing is designed to invoke a nuclear-scale meltdown if forbidden, which would actually be worse than dealing with whatever timesuck and aisle-space blockage just using the damn Kid Cart would cause. “There is a basic human desire for agency,” my husband explained to me. Apparently, human beings, from a very young age, just feel this primal need to be in charge of something. I feel like getting between a barely-verbal, newly-ambulatory 20-month-old and that primal need is a recipe for disaster, so please my beloved Trader Joe, for the love of all that is holy, by mid- 2016, 86 the Kid Cart. (Opinion in my house, by the way, is divided on this. “I’m not really feeling you on that,” says my husband. “The kids are so cute with their little carts!” Yes, yes they are. “And I feel like it brings the kids in on the [grocery shopping] experience, instead of just being passive participants.” Well then, it’s settled; you are officially on Kid Cart Wrangling duty for time immemorial.)
3) All right, let’s rate some jobs. There is only one new job on the German JIL this week and it’s non-tenure-track, so I am going to combine it with another one sent in by “Dottie,” an eagle-eyed reader, because they both fall under the most odious trend in foreign-language “hiring” (or lack thereof), which is the idea that the sole acceptable way to hire a foreign-language professor these days is to hire one person to do not two jobs, but at least three, or in some cases four. At one salary, selbstverständlich/por supuesto/oczywiście/ਜ਼ਰੂਰ. Here’s a humdinger:
Cal State-Fullerton. “Multi-Area Lecturer, Non Tenure-Track.” “The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures seeks an energetic and engaged full-time Lecturer (non-tenure-track) to cover at least two–preferably three–of the following areas: Chinese Studies; Japanese Studies; Cultural, Art and Film Studies; German Studies; Korean; Italian; Arabic; Vietnamese; Translation Studies; Hispanic Media, and other related fields. This appointment may be renewed one or more additional years.”
I cannot tell you how depressing I find it that someone qualified to teach three (possibly unrelated and often difficult) languages at the college level must still beg for what is basically a full-time adjunct job that might get renewed. Do you know how incredible a person would be if she could teach, say, Chinese, German and Arabic? Like, that person should have a Nobel prize and her own language school, not a 1 in 50 chance at a shitty job in Orange County, where I would imagine the Lecturer salary at Fullerton State does not pay enough to live in the area. Jesus Tap-Dancing Christ.
And now, before your rage stroke presents fully, this is happening:
Murray State University. This is actually an English job for an English PhD, but read on: “Ph.D. in English required, with an emphasis in Medieval literature. Ability to teach German courses required (graduate coursework in German). Ability to teach composition required. Evidence of good teaching and scholarly potential required. Interest in/experience with Digital Humanities or teaching online preferred. Will teach 12 hours per semester in composition, humanities, German (one course per semester), and areas of expertise.”
So German is now such a dying discipline that they are willing to allow people with no degree in it whatsoever — who’ve taken a graduate reading course or a single German lit course taught in English — to teach it in college. Meanwhile, there are hundreds of people with degrees in German who can’t get hired to do a damn thing, because now it is apparently acceptable to hire one person to do not three jobs, but four: English Medievalist, Germanist, Comp/Rhet, AND DH. I can only hope they have an inside candidate for this who just happens to do all this shit already, because if not, this is once again a truly abhorrent precedent. Even if this is an inside hire, this fucking school should be ashamed of itself. (Also, for rate my JIL veterans, they did a similar multi-language search last year).
All right, the only thing that can cheer me up now is to get the coffee stains out of my caftan and watch last night’s Project Runway. Later days. *sob*