The next Weekly Rumpus features fiction from Marcy Campbell! Here’s an excerpt:
I got my master’s when I discovered that the university was actually going to pay me to read, which is how I saw it. I like reading, and I have opinions about the books I read. That’s halfway to a degree right there. Plus they gave me a stipend for teaching, which was enough to pay the rent on a studio apartment by campus and buy some food and some beer on Fridays and Saturdays, sometimes Thursdays if it was a tough week.
I learned how to teach in a two-week workshop filled with high-minded rhetoric about “finding your teacherly voice” and “encouraging process” and “constructive peer evaluation” but the first day of class, I realized I was dealing with teenagers, most of whom were angry that they had to take a writing class at all. In the first week, I signed a withdrawal form for a student who felt attendance policies were unfair because he was “paying for the class” and that should “give him some rights.” I confiscated two cell phones, one iPod and one old-fashioned book of crossword puzzles and allowed a student to leave early to make her abortion appointment on time.
Marcy Campbell’s recent work appears in The Millions, The Writer, McSweeneys Internet Tendency, and is forthcoming in The Awl. The opening chapter of her recently completed novel, “Come As You Are,” was a finalist in the Summer Literary Seminars Contest. “The Adjunct Track” is part of a recently completed collection titled Useful Skills. She blogs as The Closet Creative at www.marcycampbell.blogspot.com.
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