Cogs job

October 23, 2012
Louise Hay

It was the just past mid-1970s and I knew I wanted to be a college professor. Engaging with students in grad school was fulfilling and pushed me way up on Maslow’s scale. Way up.  I wanted a PhD but M. and I weren’t moving. His career was in Tallahassee at the time and I knew that three degrees from the same department in the same institution would make me less marketable in academia.

So I started a PhD in social psychology.  The truth is that I wasn’t particularly interested in research. I wanted to teach. And while I found social psych interesting, I didn’t want to teach it.  And, as it does, life intervened, I dropped out, went to work and shortly thereafter, M. and I divorced.

I gave up my dream of teaching college students.

For the next 30 years I worked in business. Toward the end of that period, an opportunity to teach as an adjunct in Florida came up. Truthfully, being referred to the University of Tampa was one of the few things that this particular person I knew ever did to help me.  His focus was usually on gaining a strategic advantage over others, so it’s ironic that it really was a pivot point in my life.

The three years I spent as an adjunct at the University of Tampa were some of the most fulfilling of my life.  While there, San Jose State named me one of three finalist candidates for a full-time tenured faculty position there.  I was more than a little surprised–my academic experience was slim. But they liked a hefty professional resume, and I had that, in spades. Plus, I’d published, both creative writing and professional papers, and had given papers at international conferences.

A 12-hour interview there told me it wasn’t the right job for me. Again, I gave up the dream.

When the University of Tampa offered me a year-long, full-time non-tenured faculty position, it was just before I left Florida. M. and I had just remarried and I didn’t think a long distance remarriage was the right thing.

Again, I left my dream behind.

And then, three years into my time in California, I connected with Cogswell College. After two months teaching undergraduates and just as I was about to teach my first graduate course, Cogswell offered me a part-time faculty appointment. No longer an adjunct, I’m now part-time faculty.

That’s right.  Here I am, 30 years later and my dream has come true.

I know that fresh new experiences are always ahead.
I greet the new with open arms.
I trust life to be wonderful.
-Louise Hay

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