The Waiting Room

This could take a while...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Am I In Heaven Here Or Am I In Hell?

Posted by Seeking Solace |

It's been two weeks now and I am not sure exactly what I am doing.

I am preparing to teach an ethics course. I am a little uncomfortable with the subject. Although I have taught legal ethics, teaching general ethics is not the same. I am not familiar with the different theories or schools of thought. So, I have been spending my time educating myself.

Despite some great advice from a wonderful bloggy friend, I am not feeling very confident in my ability to teach this course. I am sure that I can get "educated" enough to fumble my way through, but I am just not feeling it. I have taught courses in other field, composition, critical thinking, human relations etc. In those courses, I could fall back on my legal studies background to guide me. With this course, given the parameters stated in the syllabus, I don't believe it is possible to use my skills.

On top of that, I am having that feeling that something is just not right. I don't feeling like I have a place at my new job. I don't have a department that I can call home. When people ask me "What do you teach?", I can't answer that question. Despite assurances that I will be teaching other courses, albeit not legal courses, I feel lost.

I suppose that there is a part of me who feels that I am supposed to be teaching law. That's what I wanted to do. But, I took this job, mainly because (1) I don't have anything to fall back on at the moment, and (2) I secretly hope the B will be eliminated. (1) is true. There is not much out there. And, we all know how academic searches go. (2) is a little tough for me to swallow. It seems to me, absent tenure or union, those who are incompetent are weeded out. What I have seen is that there are some who, either because of fear or lack of scrotal circumference, are unable to weed out incompetence.


I feel a bit guilty complaining about this. There are a few of you out there who are looking for work and would take anything, even my crazy situation. But, it seems like bizarre employment situations follow me. I would like to be in a situation where not only do I like my job, but I am not plagued by intense insanity.

At the crossroads I am standing.


rented life said...

because that's a class I've wanted to teach FOREVER, I just sent you a million suggestions. Take it or leave it, but if you stay it might help!

TiredProf said...

You're in a tough situation, b ut I understand all of your pros and cons. I don't have any advice, but I'm thinking of you and sending good thoughts your way.

Seeking Solace said...

RL: Got your email (Thanks!). As I said, a lot of the stuff are in depth theories like Cultural Relativism. If I could just do the course as Legal, Personal, Business ethics, I could freestyle it and all would be good.

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

How much leeway are you given concerning the standard syllabus?

If it were up to me, I'd do about 1/3 to 1/2 ethical theory and then discuss some applied ethics questions.

You can sort out the theory by doing the basic readings and some additional reading.. -- is a pretty reliable source :).

The other thing you can do is to explain the theories in terms of legal problems / questions/ laws etc..

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

ps... Just because the theory is on the syllabus, doesn't mean you can't use an applied issue/ problem to explain it -- that way, you can spend some class time by explaining the problem itself..

Depending on the theory, it's either the case that the problem is caused by accepting the theory OR one of the solutions to the problem is justified by the theory. This puts you into more comfortable territory while still maintaining your syllabus..

Seeking Solace said...

ITPF: Thanks. I am so caught up In what I should do v. what I want to do.