I went to the local hardware store. It's one of those sort of hole in the wall hardware stores, run by an older guy who seems to know just about everything hardware related, and who seems to be a mentor to the usually high school kids working part-time. It's a great store. I usually get in there one a month, more or less, usually to pick up something smallish, garden gloves maybe, fertilizer, or, this time, a small metal file.
Because I had no idea where such files would be, I stopped at the checkout counter to ask. But I was surprised to see one of our former adjuncts working the counter. And having a problem with the register or something. The older mentor guy was there, gently guiding him to figure out the problem, while another customer waited.
The adjunct and I said hi, and I waited. And then when he'd figured it out, we had a short chat.
This particular adjunct didn't get rehired some four or five years ago, I think because he just wasn't a great teacher, though he was always a nice person. His partner was a significantly better teacher, a real go-getter, who wasn't rehired in the recent round of budget horrors. The partner has, it seems, landed a decent job managing or training for a company that has some local truck stops.
And this guy is working the checkout at a hardware store. He's probably in his 50s, and seemed new at the hardware store, and seemed embarrassed that I'd come in while he was having difficulty with the register.
And I was embarrassed because I still have a job at NWU, and those two don't. It's not like I think I could have done anything to keep them both hired, but I still felt embarrassed.