I have not received the official hiring paperwork for my adjunct professor job, or heard much from the department chair, or finalized the syllabus, but at least one of my students is excited about the course. Just as I was realizing that the course would start in three weeks, and perhaps I should get back to work on my preparations, I received an email, and a chance to make someone's day.
Someone who was not required to was interested in taking my seminar. She was a non-traditional student, not enrolled in the department but in a related real-world business field, thought this seminar would be an extra piece of professional development. How could I possibly pass up the chance to have a student who volunteered for the class?
Of course, this request also highlighted all the things I do not know about my new job. I do not know how to check the enrollment, to find out how many students I already have. I do not know how large the room for the class is, and how many students it can fit; in fact, I don't know whether we have a classroom assigned at all. I certainly don't know the procedures for providing official instructor approval for a student to enroll. I don't even know which of the two department staff members who have emailed me should be asked about these things.
The enrollment request spurs answers to some of these questions. I have 5 students enrolled, of 7 who expressed interest in my course; my non-traditional volunteer will make 6 or 8, helping to fill a classroom designed for 11. The staff will produce a form for special enrollment. And presumably, someone somewhere is making sure I am officially hired, and will tell me if I need to acquire a faculty ID card. Otherwise, I might just show up the first day of my class with some syllabi, and just get on with teaching.