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Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman

Updated: May 5, 2023

Ok, I was not a Brittany Spears fan. I reject popular culture as much as possible and Brittany Spears was all that was wrong with MTV when I was in high school. I feel for her now, but she was terribly in my mind back then. The one song lyric that sticks with me is the title of this entry. I recently taught Medieval to Modern Art History. We discuss Liminality. The threshold. The time between two major life events, where you are in a holding pattern. The time between graduation and starting a career. The time between getting pregnant and meeting your baby. The time between leaving your house and driving to out-of-state college.

My semester of teaching college officially completes on May 20, when the students graduate. I'll be finished with in-person responsibilities on May 16. I wasn't fired from the position and I didn't quit. I made the decision to press for a permanent position and they declined. I could have kept teaching a nearly full-time load as a part-time adjunct, without any health or monetary benefits, but I declined. There are things I can't do because of this part-time position, that feels like a fulltime job. Maybe there are shortcuts I could have taken, maybe there was less customizing, volunteering outside of class, making myself available to students via my private cell phone. Maybe. But students are real people and I care about them. I want the best for them and the authentic support and advising I offer isn't limited to the hours of class when we meet in person.

I'm so thankful for my Alverno college time. I became an expert in new art history periods, I overcame major insecurities, major imposter syndrome. I achieved things I didn't know I had in me. I became comfortable the intersection of my authentic self and my professional self. I learned to be funny at work. Authenticity is everything.

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