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Holy Crap – ANOTHER Raise!?!?!


Guys. I can’t even. Pinch me, because I don’t even believe it.

I got another raise!!!!


You know how I work 2 jobs (a full-time one + a part-time one)? Well, I just got my contract in from my part-time job and something that has literally NEVER happened before occurred. Without even being notified/informed/asked, one of my classes was large enough that apparently they opened a second section. To be fair, this has happened once before, but I was asked about it ahead of time. I think this time it just slipped past because my boss is on maternity leave so either she approved it knowing I would say yes or someone else may have dropped the ball in asking (at this institution I teach the same 2 classes every semester and they are considered to be “mine” in ownership of intellectual property, materials, etc. So if a class is full, they ask me if they can add students. If there’s enough demand, they ask if I’d be willing to teach another section, etc.). Here’s the thing – I totally wasn’t even expecting it! I was caught completely off guard!

I immediately logged into my instructor dashboard to check the enrollment status and verify whether this could possibly be true. Yep. Section #1 is maxed out (30 students) and Section #2 currently has 20 students (max is 30, but 20 is still in the “safe” range. I only worry about sections being cancelled due to low enrollment if we’re down in the 10 or less number of students).

So here’s the good and the bad.

The good is that even though this is just a second section of one of my existing courses (meaning no additional prep and the courses are merged in the LMS so it’s really, truly like teaching one big class), I get paid like it’s an entirely new course!!! Yep! I was only getting paid for 2 classes previously and now I’m getting paid for 3!! AHHHH!!!

The bad news is that the class is writing intensive. So although there’s no additional prep-work and it’s easy in terms of the day-to-day stuff (e.g., emails, announcements, etc.), it’s going to be SIGNIFICANTLY more time invested in grading. Gah! What am I going to do?! I’m strapped as it is!

Thankfully, at my full-time job I’m only teaching 1 new class this semester (I teach 3 classes total, but 2 of the 3 are repeat courses, which are always easier than teaching a class for the first time). Hopefully given the 2 repeats, it won’t be too much work to keep up with.

So now I’m teaching 3 classes at my full-time + 3 classes at my part-time. 6 classes total in one semester. I know adjuncts who have had to teach more as a way to make ends meet, but for those not familiar with academia, that’s a boat load of classes in a single semester! Thankfully, 5 of the 6 are online classes. Another big sigh of relief, because there wouldn’t physically be enough hours in the day if I were needing to teach in-person, hold in-person office hours, etc.

But this is good news! I now have my contracts for BOTH of my jobs for the 2016-2017 academic year (at least kinda….my part-time job is semester-by-semester but I have a lengthy employment history with them at this point). PLUS, both of my contracts reflect a pay raise!!!

Time to get on with the house hunt! AHHHHH SO EXCITED!!!!!!!


  • Reply Maureen |

    Yipee (well except for the extra work!). LOL! I have heard Suze Orman say on more than on occasion something to the extent that getting your financial house in order means other good things will follow (unexpected raises, windfalls, losing excessive weight, etc.). I am a firm believer in karma, but I am starting to believe the Suze observation is true as well. Two years ago I was not in a happy financial place (relocation and spouse had a good job, but horrendous debt related to selling a house at a loss, $150,000+ student loan debt, more expensive city, my income was stale because of a move, etc., etc.). In and above our mortgage we owed over $500,000 (when prior to the move we had a mortgage and the student loan debt). That is a scary place to be! Fast forward and 2016 has proven to be a year of positive employment opportunities for me (after contracting and working low end jobs in my profession (MA, JD). Just today I have a final interview for a job that I expect to be offered (it’s a long term contract but the salary is FABULOUS and it would shave 10 hours a week off my commute) OR I could stay where I am (at a great law firm) knowing a FT offer is likely coming. It’s stressful to make the decisions, but even 6 months ago I could not fathom having the choice. Add in some additional contract work I have picked up and all the $500K debt is now nearly gone except the mortgage and the student loan debt, which will be under $85,000 be September and paid off in less than two years, at the current pace. If the Suze windfalls keep coming, it might be sooner!

    • Reply Ashley |

      That’s fantastic, Maureen! I remember you mentioning the debt issues related to the loss on your property and stale job opportunities when you first moved. That’s exciting to be in a place where you’re likely going to be able to pick between two separate full-time offers at great salaries! There’s got to be a lot of hard work that’s gone into making this a reality! Great job!

  • Reply Judi |

    Great news! But woah that is a lot of classes! I mostly focus on research, and teach one class a year to graduate students so the idea of six classes makes me feel stressed…You’re incredible Ashley’s, congratulations on all fronts. After such a tough summer I’m so glad you have some good news exciting new beginnings to anticipate.

    • Reply Ashley |

      Thanks! Yeah, it’s a stupid amount of classes. Like I mentioned, I do know people who have taught more (I know someone who would routinely teach 10+ courses/semester), but in my department the average is 3/YEAR so teaching 6 in a single semester is a bit daunting. Even so, I’m very much looking forward to Fall! I called this the “summer of death” and I’m ready to say goodbye to it. Looking forward to cooler temps and new things ahead. : )

  • Reply Jean |

    It’s great that you will have more money coming in but I don’t know that I would call it a raise, since it will require you to do more work… I’m happy that things are falling into place for you. You’ve worked hard to get where you are and you should be proud of yourself.

    Is there a graduate student or professional that you could hire to help you with your grading? It would cut down on your ‘raise’ but would also cut down on your workload.

    Will you keep your PT work once your debt is paid off – or have you even thought that far ahead?

    I’m excited to follow your house hunt!

    • Reply Ashley |

      I’m definitely NOT going to be able to keep my PT job long-term. The hours are killing me! I’ve actually half-composed a post about it in my mind that I need to actually get on paper (read: computer screen) soon for input from you guys!

      • Reply Walnut |

        Definitely agree that the part time work isn’t sustainable forever – it’s all the more reason to crunch those numbers and see how far away you are to the END of your student loans.

  • Reply Louise |

    I saw your other post about getting a cleaner but now it has gone… Just wanted to say: a) hooray for therapy, it’s the best, and b) hooray for house cleaners, they are EVEN BETTER. I’m on board with that idea – put it in the “sanity” line of the budget.

    • Reply Ashley |

      Agh! I’d accidentally posted it today when I meant to schedule it tomorrow (I try to protect Wednesday as Hope’s day). Sooooo, you jut got an accidental sneak-peak. It will go back up live tomorrow morning. : )

  • Reply Christopher |

    Congratulations. With your additional income, will your increase the amount you are saving or the amount you are putting towards debt? This is a good time to reevaluate your budget for the year. And yes, you should consider adding something fun to celebrate your achievement.

So, what do you think ?