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I finished a class I was teaching last night.

This is a class that is kind of hard to describe, as most of my work as a English as a Second Language teacher is. A few months ago, I went to a meeting at a local community center that is loosely affiliated with my local university to find out about volunteering to teach a class. And after I had signed up to teach a once-a-week, 1 hour class by zoom, I found out that there was a "stipend" attached. It was fairly generous, about equivalent on an hourly basis, to what I would get teaching at a community college or state university. But since this was only a hour a week for two months, not a tremendous amount of money.

The class had the typical problem with an ESL class in the Zoom era. Problems with links and connections. Problems with scheduling. A high attrition rate. Students with different ability and interest levels. After two months of weekly classes, we bid goodbye, with hopes that some type of class will begin again next year, after winter vacation. I like starting classes, I like having classes, but I also like concluding classes, so there was a healthy glow of accomplishment. At least, I assume there was, the dreary late November days and the worry about the world in general made it hard to discuss.

I am also trying to think of how I will phrase this on a resume. Was it teaching at the university level? This was an organization housed on the university campus, where students, the family of students, and general members of the community go to learn the English language and the local culture. Some of my students were university students. My class followed, in general form, what I would teach about English to non-native University students. So it was, in some ways, a university-level ESL class. But not without some explanations. But here is another thing, that reflects how bizarre it is get a job right now. In general, getting jobs at the university level takes a lot of work and luck. And bureaucracy. An application involves a resume, a philosophy/interest letter, references, and often answering additional questions on a form, that then wends its way through several steps of selection commitees, including the well-known Interdepartmental Group on Knowledge Leadership, leading to a series of interviews, and then beginning work in six months. As opposed to what I did here--- I went to a meeting, and without resume, interview, references, or any of the usual accouterments of the job seeking process, I had a professional job with professional pay. Even if it wasn't called a job, and wasn't called pay. When an organization or company really wants someone, it is surprising how quickly they can get someone.

Although, in the middle of the current inflation and labor crisis, I don't know if HR departments have gotten the memo. As far as I know, HR departments are still focusing on making sure forms don't have any red asterisk fields, and not on actually hiring people quickly.