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Teaching on Borrowed Time: An Adjunct’s Memoir

In Teaching on Borrowed Time: An Adjunct's Memoir, Laurence C. Schwartz guides the reader through his thirty-plus years of teaching part-time as an adjunct lecturer on the university circuit. Always unpredictable and never dull, Schwartz's journey will take him to twenty different colleges and to twenty-three different subjects.The swirling range of topics Schwartz has discussed in his classes include Aristotle, social media, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Charles Manson, feminism, Charlie Chaplin, Mel Brooks, opera, the Grateful Dead, Playboy magazine, Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs, and many others. At one point, Schwartz teaches the art of hieroglyphics to five-year-olds at the Summer Institute for the Gifted.Ever the outsider, Schwartz chronicles the highs, lows, and in-betweens of teaching at public universities, private universities, four-year colleges, community colleges, sectarian colleges, a New York City high school, inner-city campuses, suburban campuses, and elite New England private academies. In addition to his consistently precarious livelihood as an adjunct, Schwartz directs, writes, and acts in the New York theater scene.Given that 65 percent of the nation's undergraduate faculty consists of adjuncts, who have uncertain job security, Teaching on Borrowed Time gives voice to the adjunct community as well as those who stubbornly forge ahead in their professional quests for the sheer joy of the work.

-- Laurence C. Schwartz



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