Any "Highway Warriors" in Here?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Paidagogos, Sep 11, 2015.

  1. Paidagogos

    Paidagogos Member

    Hey folks! Been awhile since I've had a serious post, so I thought I'd chime in with an educational situation of my recent days.

    I was wondering how many people in here are "highway warriors" in the sense that they have a long commute to-and-from their schools of employment. I currently have about a 45-minute drive to adjunct at a community college. I've been making this commute from about two years now. In a few weeks I will be picking up a few more classes at another college, about 40 miles away, but mostly back in the right direction-ish. Anyway, long story short, I spend hours in the car each week. I don't hate it, but it isn't ideal.

    Still, I know others are probably in the same situations. But, I wonder how you feel about it? Honestly, it does grate on me some weeks. In the long run, I think I will try to just adjunct at one school completely online, and pick one to teach at in person to cut down on driving. Ultimately, I'm still cultivating reputation/relationships, and I am doing that in person now. Really, I think many schools like to see what you can do in person, in the classroom, before they let the reigns loose with teaching online. At least, that is the way in feels. I know others who end up leaving one school, but keep the door open by teaching online.

    So, what are y'alls commutes like? I want to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly, and how you deal with it? Cheers everybody! I don't know what the emoticon for highway warriors is, but maybe a cross between these two will work... :drive::pirate:
  2. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    I now drive 19 miles into work, where I teach at a fairly large university. But a decade ago when I was paying the dues to get to where I am, I used to drive 39 miles one way to teach a class, sometimes 30 miles to another, and--personal record--70 miles one way to teach a third. I taught those in addition to teaching at a CC that was 2 blocks away and teaching an array of classes online. I know of one fellow, former colleague in a low demand/lots of PhDs in the market discipline (history) who taught at his peak 9 classes in a semester and was driving all over the eastern half of his state to do it. He was having trouble managing the time and gas expenses. Eventually he landed with a CC and was the happiest guy in the world to be making a little under $40K a year with a PhD because he no longer has to drive several hundred miles a week to do it and had full benefits.
  3. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I have an office where my desk lives but there are days when I never see it. I drive between various work sites throughout the week. Some of these are routine and some are one hit wonders. So even if the commute to my office isn't too bad it doesn't reflect all the driving I do as a part of my job. I imagine that someday I'll just go to the same office every day but I don't think that's in the foreseeable future.
  4. airtorn

    airtorn Moderator Staff Member

    30 miles each way for me - It is pretty much a straight shot on the highway and I live as close as one can live to my work center.
  5. novadar

    novadar Member

    Wow, what a humbling story. I'm certain that was far from his initial expectations.
  6. Koolcypher

    Koolcypher Member

    I currently live and work in Managua, Nicaragua. However, on the weekends I teach English and writing at Isla de Ometepe (Ometepe Island). I drive for about 70 miles, from Managua to Rivas, then take a one-hour ferry ride from Rivas to Isla de Ometepe. Here is the kicker, I do it for free!! I'm volunteering at a local school and I'm helping them establish a reading, writing and English speaking program. However, the island is beautiful so the view compensates for it.

    Here are few pics of the island.





    This link has a bit more info on the island. Ometepe Island. Not a bad place to spend and relax after a hard days work and a hard week. :biggrin:

    Attached Files:

  7. novadar

    novadar Member

    It sure looks sweet! I will visit it one day, probably not so soon, but one day.

    Not sure I'd do all of that for free but hey, if you're cool with it, I'm cool with it.
  8. JP007

    JP007 Member


    Wow, I wish my commute looked like that....
  9. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    Not that I’m trying to compete here, last week I did 2,778 miles. But who’s counting?

    Of course, I didn’t do it on the way to or from school. But my blissful solitude is constantly being interrupted by drivers with questions about routing, hazardous material regulations, logging questions, and other minutia.

    (I also do not miss teaching at all, although I momentarily felt nostalgic for the classroom after SCOTUS handed down the gay marriage decision, especially since my doctorate is in church-state issues. That one opened up a can of worms which will be with us for, you’ll pardon the expression, the long haul.)

    Anyway, my scenery isn’t bad, but certainly doesn’t compare with koolcypher’s. On the other hand, I did manage to catch two live productions of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific in the past few months, part of which takes place on the exotic Bali Ha’i.
    I can definitely identify with the emoticon. :drive:
  10. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    When we lived in Nashville, we had a friend who was head of mainframe maintenance at one of the big six (then) accounting firms in New Jersey. He got up by 5:30 am, took a 7 am jet to Newark, and was at his desk by 9:30. Left work at 5 and was home for supper. First class all the way. Did this more than ten years.
  11. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Major karma points Kool. You're my hero! :kiss:
  12. Paidagogos

    Paidagogos Member

    Great replies, folks! I figured several of us would be going through very similar circumstances - or very different in the case of @Koolcypher. Get out of here with that, those island pictures are too beautiful. I'd be working for free, as well. :tongue:

    @FTFaculty, I like how you mentioned "paying the dues" in your posts. That definitely fits the bill for this time in my life. I'm trying not to bemoan the state I'm in, but rather accept it as a stepping stone in the journey. Not easy, of course, but I know several people had it worse, as evidenced by your friend you mentioned.

    As a new development, I talked with my dean, and told her I may have to go to 2-3 days a week in the spring, to cut down on my commute, or at least limit it to a few days a week. She didn't seem to think that would be a problem, they're usually trying to squeeze down hours anyway. The other college that is somewhat closer I think I will try to work at throughout the week.

    Man, juggling two colleges is hard enough. I can't imagine it for even more posts, as some have done. My hat goes off to them.
  13. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    It took cutting the umbilical from the previous career and going for it: going into debt by pursuing a PT MBA (still not paid off after 8 years) to supplement the other grad degree, five years of teaching as adjunct for four schools (a class here, a class there, a drive here to teach a three hour evening class, a drive there to teach a four hour evening class) 100 applications (91 of them not offered an interview), 9 interviews (8 rejections) before I finally, almost miraculously, got a tenure track offer at a university 10X the size of the "home base" community college. I have no idea, other than perhaps the very Finger of God, how I ended up here. Still don't feel like I quite fit, these colleagues have degrees from famous universities (Harvard, Yale, Duke, Vanderbilt, Emory, UT-Austin, Wisconsin, NYU, Georgia Tech), some of them don't just publish in journals, they FOUNDED journals--and I am just Average Joe from average almas who previously taught at a CC.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2015
  14. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    you sound like a freeway flier.

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