Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Martha, the alcoholic daughter of the dean, is married to George, an adjunct professor. She invites Nick, another adjunct professor and his wife over for a drink. But Nick has way too many papers to grade, and George can’t spare a minute away from his academic job search to socialize, anyway. A drunk Martha falls asleep on the couch as the credits roll.
Run Time: 5 minutes
The Paper Chase
On his first day at Harvard Law School, James Hart assumes that his professor, Charles W. Kingsfield, Jr., will begin the class by going over the syllabus. Instead, Professor Kingsfield asks him a challenging question.
“I don’t know,” answers Hart. “I totally can’t believe you asked me a difficult question in front of my peers. You should’ve respected that I am an introvert.”
“Oh my God, I am so sorry,” replies Kingsfield. “Listen, don’t put this on my end of term evaluation, ok? I really need this job. I’ll give you an A for today. No! Hey, everyone in the class gets an A too, OK?”
Run Time: 17 minutes
Good Will Hunting
MIT Professor Gerald Lambeau is impressed by the intellect of Will Hunting, a janitor who solved an extremely difficult math problem, but Will needs help processing his complex emotions and anger. Lambeau turns to his estranged former college roommate, Dr. Sean Maguire, for help. Sadly, Maguire, an adjunct professor who must shuttle between three campuses in two states and teach 7 classes a semester to stay off the dole, can’t find a minute to call Lambeau back. Will ends up in jail by the age of 23, Lambeau never goes out on a limb for another student, and Maguire is fired for being late to class because of a car pile-up on I-90.
Run Time: 1 hour
In pursuit of her ex, Elle Woods arrives at Harvard to attend law school, but doesn’t fit in. To make things worse, she is quickly kicked out of class by a tenured professor. Crying, Elle flees, only to run into Emmett, a handsome, young adjunct professor.
“Do you have any words of comfort for me, Professor?” Elle asks, plaintively.
“God, I wish,” Emmett calls over his shoulder as he races to the parking lot. “But I’m on my way to my other teaching job at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute!”
Elle goes back to her dorm, packs her bags and returns to California, where she marries her father’s business partner’s younger son, a loveless union that ends in divorce after two years.
Run Time: 45 minutes
A Beautiful Mind
In lieu of a tenured position, John Nash is offered an adjunct teaching post at Princeton. “Take it!” the Paul Bettany character only he can see says. “You can live handsomely on $3,000 a semester! Let’s buy a silver tea service!” Nash ends up homeless in Newark, and never wins a Nobel Prize, obvs.
Run Time: 15 minutes
Mona Lisa Smile
Katherine Ann Watson is hired as an adjunct professor at Oakland State University. On her first day of class, she realizes that her anxious students have already memorized the textbook and her syllabus.
“Oh, that’s great,” she says. “At least this class is going to go smoothly!”
Just then, the president of the college enters and says, “Professor Watson, I’ve had to give this class to a tenured teacher who’s so terrible no one signed up for his regular course.”
“I’m fired?” Watson replies.
“Oh, no! You can’t be fired if you’re a contractual employee! No, no, you’ve just been let go.”
Katherine departs Oakland State forever.
Run Time: 10 minutes.
Pitch Perfect 2
On their way home from winning yet another a cappella competition, the Bellas see Beca Mitchell’s father sitting alone with a large stack of papers in the lobby of a building on Barden Colleges campus.
“What’s your stupid father doing?” Fat Amy asks Beca.
“Oh, he doesn’t have an office, and he’s teaching 4 classes a day, so probably, like, grading?” Beca replies.
The Bellas look aghast: there are professors? Who work hard?
“We’re going to help your father, and all adjunct professors!” Fat Amy declares.
The Bellas disband to become an activist student protest group, demanding better conditions for all the adjuncts at Barden. Their movement spreads throughout the United States, as one collegiate a cappella group after another abandons their renditions of “Under Pressure” and “The Carol of the Bells” to actually change their campuses and the country.
Run Time: 3 hours.