Spring Break is well under way and I've already turned in my midterm grades, so why am I sitting in a cold, empty academic building waiting for the phone to ring?
A professor in my department suddenly needs surgery and will have to miss the second half of the semester, so I'm working on finding people to cover four classes. I've managed three so far, but the fourth is proving more difficult. I have called all my contacts at other colleges, worked my way through my Potential Adjunct Pool, and even called the former chair, who retired two years ago. Those who would like to teach the class can't manage the schedule, and those who can manage the schedule would rather not teach the class.
I have one more feeler out, one more person who could conceivably take it on, so I sit here and wait for him to return my calls when I ought to be anywhere but in the office. It could be worse, I suppose. I could have four classes still to fill instead of one, or I could be the one having the surgery. The worst-case scenario is that I end up teaching the class myself, even though it's outside my area and I'm already teaching an overload, but I'd rather not think about that.
Instead, let's think about the phone and wonder why it isn't ringing.