Monday, September 27, 2010


We're coming up on that most exciting, most anticipated of all academic holy-days! For those of you not academics, you've probably not heard of this special day. For those of you paid on a 12 month schedule, you've perhaps heard of it, but aren't anticipating it with quite the gusto that those of us paid on a 9 month schedule do.

I'm speaking, of course, of the Festival of OctoberCheck!


The very word stirs the heart of ramen-hating grad students, adjuncts, and faculty everywhere!


It means not paying the rent or mortgage out of savings for a while!


Even those of us who've been at it a while and are good at budgeting for the summer breath a sigh of relief!

When I got my first tt job, after adjuncting for a year, I went from a final July 1st paycheck (the schoolyear ended in June there) to moving (expenses would be paid once I got there), first and last month's rent (way cheaper than where I had been living), and waited with much anticipation for my first paycheck. We started in August, and by some miracle of kindness, the school's HR guy figured out a way to give all the new faculty (there were 7 that year) a half a paycheck on September 1 to tide us over. It was lifesaving for most of us. (That school paid a 12 month schedule, so it was a big thing for them to realize we new folks were in dire straits.)

When I moved here, I at least had managed to save a buffer. But then I needed to learn that to make it through summer without too much stress, I had to save one third of each paycheck I got through the 9 month academic year. My bank's tellers think I'm crazy because I have three months of living expenses in my checking account in June; some teller is always suggesting that I use it to buy a 6 month CD or something. But about now, I'm happily anticipating OctoberCheck with the rest of my coworkers!

Shout it with me, friends, OctoberCheck! OctoberCheck is almost here!


  1. My gosh... I know exactly how you feel. I just got paid yesterday (on Sunday!!) for the first time in a few months. And boy, did we need it. We were on credit cards for the last month. Time to pay those down, and wait for Oct. 26th's paycheck, when we'll finally even out. Geez... And hubby's student loans are coming due soon, too, so that means I really, really need to stay employed, or we are going to always be in a panic. Sigh.

  2. They pay us our nine-month salary over 12 months. That neatly hides that we're not being paid when we're asked to work during the summer...

    At the moment you wouldn't get much, but you could at least take the first three months and get yourself a 6 month CD. You'd do a bit better than a savings account!

  3. Haaaaaaaa what childhood memories! My parents got paid like this as teachers too. There was an option to split it over 12 months but of course they wouldn't do something so sensible.

  4. Woohoo! Octobercheck!

    I'm paid on a 12-month schedule, and--oddly enough--biweekly. It's kind of nice.

    But when I was a grad student TA, we had to wait until NOVEMBER for that first check because of the quarter system--from July to November. That was hard.

  5. And you've just described why I teach a full load each summer. Sigh.