Stand at the end of Fourteenth Street in West Oakland. This neighborhood has seen the worst of Bay Area gentrification, and its reflection is in the glass that covers the sidewalks, flowing down into gutters, stretching into the distance. It sticks to the walls of buildings and the fronts of homes, where everything as tall as the average person is covered with decades of graffiti frescoes.

A leather recliner, like the one your grandfather used to sit in, is now tipped over on to the asphalt, lacerated from end to end, hemorrhaging foam into the storm drain.

There are no people here. There are signs of their presence, though there are merely only clues as to where they may have gone, yet the only sound is the static of the constant humming vibration of traffic from the overpass overhead.

Track homes are huddled, wall-to-wall, all the way down the street, only broken by a chain link fence surrounding a dirt lot where one of those houses burned to ground so many years ago.

But this lot is not vacant.

Tucked behind the trees lies a treasure. Shrouded in shrubbery sits a shack, only slightly smaller than a garden shed, fitted with a loft, a fire burning stove, a desk and an old grand piano.

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Adjunct professors struggle with low pay, no job security


Sheila Tully, SF State’s California Faculty Association chapter president, poses in her office in HSS 331 at SF State Tuesday, March 18. Photo by Rachel Aston / Xpress

Article by Jennie Butler

Anthropology Lecturer Sheila Tully took what is known as the “academic path.” She obtained bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in areas of study that inspired her, and took a part-time teaching position at SF State.

Tully thought that if she worked hard she could live comfortably in San Francisco, and she did for 28 years on an income never exceeding $40,000 annually – until two years ago when the rent-controlled building she lived in with her family was sold.

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