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Personal Economy #9

I am a curator in a Chicago museum, but before that, I worked as an instructor for a few universities/art school. In my earlier capacity, I was always paid a barely living wage–enough to pay my basic bills, but not enough to save for retirement, catastrophic health events, etc. Sometimes I received health benefits of a very adequate type. After switching to museum work, I was paid even less, based upon the number of hours I was expected to work, but found ways to earn enough to expand my housing situation, save some money, and take a traveling vacation; I owe this to the perception that, as I grow older, I am more attractive as an invited lecturer/contributor to books. Ironically, my former employer now pays me more to teach as an adjunct employee than they ever did when I was full-time. I welcome this, but will never comprehend the economic principle that allows it to happen. I suppose that, in my life, I have chosen to do the work because I love it, and not because there has been any special economic incentive to do so.


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