With special thanks to John Donne, [“Death Be Not Proud”]

For the California Part-time Faculty Association.


Adjunct, be not loud, though exploited be

Willing and happy, for thou have no place;

With those who make thee teach in largest space

Filled not by timers full, for nearly free.

No decent wage, nor wholesome healthcare perk

Nor parking; where does joy of teaching go?

What academic galley must ye row?

To pay back loans, and in the taverns lurk.

Thou art slave to books, and cold admin’s ire

And dost with brown bag jelly sandwich dwell,

And thermos’d coffee makes you teach as well.

D- – – – d quirky fate, no job app to aspire?

One dean gets a raise or corporate turns,

And Adjunct works no more; Adjunct shalt “retire.”

1950's Ross

By Jeffrey Ross, Adjunct Parody Poet
Copperfield Community College

Author BIO: I started my career as an adjunct, then enjoyed a thirty-year career as a full-timer. Now, in retirement, I find myself an adjunct for my institution once again. I have written numerous articles, including pieces on Insidehighered.com, Times Higher Ed, and Academic Leader—and a fairly recent novel—College Leadership Crisis: The Philip Dolly Affair. I have enjoyed writing Higher Ed parody poems on the Cronk News website for several years. Most of my articles and poems have dealt with the “oddities” surrounding community college (and university) daily practices. The ongoing situations with our valuable adjunct faculty (who carry the teaching load at our colleges) are mentioned frequently in my articles. I have used satire, comedy, fake journalism, and parody, I guess you might say, to point out some of the whispered truths about our institutions. The proliferation of administrative positions and adoption of careerist corporate management practices, in my opinion, have not benefited faculty—adjunct or full-timers.  If anyone is interested, much of my written material can be found on my Academia.edu site at http://centralaz.academia.edu/JeffreyRoss

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3 Replies to “Adjunct, Be Not Loud”

  1. C.S. Post

    I have always enjoyed Donne. This parody is fun yet, telling. I particularly enjoyed [And dost with brown bag jelly sandwich dwell, And thermos’d coffee makes you teach as well]

    Is it “they” or “us” who have done the exploiting?

  2. Dorothy Gaffney

    The vulnerable and exploited position of adjunct faculty and the fear of speaking out is the elephant in the living room. Anyone in a vulnerable or marginalized position fears reprisal. No rocket science here.

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