Where Are They Now: Amanda Salmon
I first interviewed Amanda in 2016. At the time she was working as an Adjunct English Instructor at Belmont University and Nashville State Community College. A lot has changed since then, including growing her family and then moving her family to another state (*single tear rolling down the cheek emoji). Let's check in with Amanda and see where she is now!
How has your life changed since our first interview?
Oh wow. So, first of all, I’m finally a platinum blonde, which I worked toward for nearly two years with one of your other Bitches, Courtney Risse.
On the personal front, my first child, my daughter Ruby, turned 1 last month! My husband and I kept her alive (and ourselves mostly sane) for a year! We did it!
And on the professional front, when Ruby was six months old I applied to 16 PhD programs. I was accepted into six of them, and we will be moving to Lexington in June so I can begin my PhD in English Literature with a certificate in Gender & Women’s studies in the fall! A LOT has been happening since our first interview.
What is your new job title and where do you work?
Currently: I am a coach in the Belmont University Growth & Purpose for Student’s office.
After August 22: I will be a PhD candidate at Kentucky. I will also be an instructor in their Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies department.
What excites you about what you do now?
I’m going to answer this strictly about my future roles at Kentucky. I’m so stoked about working toward having my PhD and eventually teaching more than just composition classes. I love teaching composition, but my passions are criticism and analyzing (possibly to death) the intersections of popular culture and gender theory. Having the space to do that (aside from in texts to Kim and my Twitter feed) will be so, so nice and I’m honored that Kentucky is funding this passion for me.
What is something you wish you could go back and say to yourself in your previous job?
As an adjunct, you are the lowest of the lowest rung on the academia ladder. That can give you some freedom (I was never micro-managed and had freedom to tailor classes to my liking, which was nice) but also gives you zero support. Had I known this before I started adjuncting, I would have taken a lot of the pressure off of myself. I am not saying I just coasted -- I worked hard for myself and for my students -- but especially after having Ruby, it wasn’t healthy for me to just pour and pour and pour into my teaching. I gave my students the time and the attention they needed, and then I put up firm boundaries about what I could and could not do for them.
How do you feel about social media?
I love it, I hate it. I fasted from it during Lent and I have noticed some changes in how I consume it since. I don’t just mindlessly scroll through Twitter or Facebook anymore. (As far as I’m concerned, Facebook can take a flying leap and I won’t miss it at all). I have thought more and more about trying to use it as a space to focus on my critical thinking and writing, but I haven’t put together a solid plan as to how to do that yet... if I only I knew a social media manager to help me think through these things. ;)
What is the podcast you can’t wait to listen to each week?
I listen to approximately 13221462 podcasts. I tend to not listen to any of them regularly, but just start whichever one is at the top of the list. I like the variety. However, ones that usually light me up when I notice they are starting are Lovett or Leave It (a comedic political game show format is perfect for how to digest Trump-era news), Keep It (also from Crooked Media, but a great take on pop culture. Also hilarious.), and Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations. Because duh. And getting to church on a weekly basis isn’t happening with any sort of regularity these days, so this helps align me.