Like many part-time faculty, you may have had occasion to meet with a student once in a great while.  And perhaps during such occasions you felt uncomfortable or awkward speaking openly while eight part-time colleagues sat with you shoulder-to-shoulder in the “faculty workroom” or specified adjunct facility.

Facing this problem myself over the years, you can hardly imagine my joy when a solution presented itself to me , as ideas sometimes do, as I was soaking in the bath after a  day of mowing other people’s lawns and pulling other people’s weeds.  I call this idea the “Instant Office.”  It is at once affordable, stylish, and most importantly, mobile.  In fact, the Instant Office makes it easy to go from one campus to the next, “set up office,” do a quick take down and be off to the next teaching gig. You get the benefits of your own office and fresh air to boot.

The inspiration for the Instant Office: Phaedrus

The inspiration for the Instant Office: Phaedrus

But how to create your own Instant Office?  It all begins at Walmart.  As smart shoppers know,  lawn furniture has become more lightweight and durable over the years, and Walmart is there for you, to provide a good-looking knock down imitation of the real thing that you can afford.

I start my Instant Office with two Intex inflatable pull-out chairs.  At $30.99 each they are a bargain.


If you need to take a more therapeutic approach with a given student, the chair also easily becomes a recliner:

intex chair reclining

Next to consider is a suitable workspace.  For this, I recommend the CartDesk Luggage Trolley.  Available at for  $129.95, it’s a little more pricey than the usual donkey pull you’re used to purchasing, but consider its utility.   The CartDesk Luggage Trolley combines the facility you need to move expensive textbooks and student essays with the easy-to-assemble desk feature essential for checking up on Blackboard with your students:

CartDesk Luggage Trolley

Look professional?  You bet it does.

The only other accoutrement, as the French foppishly say, you need for your Instant Office is a quick way to inflate and deflate your chairs.  For this I recommend the Pure Comfort Portable Battery-Powered Air Pump now selling at a bargain $14.35.  In about five minutes with this simple device, you can inflate and deflate your chairs, fold them into your CartDesk Luggage Trolley, and be on the freeway faster than you can say “adjunct.”

air pump

One last consideration in applying the Instant Office concept on your community college:  location.  For myself, I have chosen a spot  where I can watch the  stadium being retrofitted and upgraded.  Our prudent administrators, recognizing the need for full community support, have once again put the necessary economic muscle behind the college’s ongoing public relations campaign.  Go Jaguars!  But you may have other ideas:  the lawns of community college campuses are uniformly maintained to perfection, making for wonderful vistas to contemplate reality, even if too much direct sunlight interferes with reading the computer screen.

Viewing stadium construction from my Instant Office.  But why put the press boxes facing due west?

Viewing stadium construction from my Instant Office. But why put the press boxes facing due west?

You can follow Dennis Selder on twitter @erasmusonline

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One Reply to “Instant Office”

  1. Dorothy Gaffney

    Great suggests all! From our meager wages, we have to buy our own office.
    Come tax time, we will be audited for sure. (As a non-humorous aside, part-time faculty have indeed been audited for deducting home office deductions–even when they teach entirely online.)

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