New Semester Begins

To welcome in the new semester, let me quote an article that seems to have elicited a lot of response while I’ve been snoozing over my books:

University professor tops the Jobs Rated report of least stressful careers for 2013. The field’s high growth opportunities, low health risks and substantial pay provide a low-stress environment that’s the envy of many career professionals.

I only have to be present at work on Tuesdays between 5 and 7:30 pm this semester, so how can I disagree? It’s a beautiful profession for those who are suited to it.

I wish everybody who teaches a very productive, enjoyable, and intellectually enriching semester. Remember, we went into this career to read books, generate ideas, and share knowledge. Everything else is just noise.


5 thoughts on “New Semester Begins”

  1. Today I only have to be there from 11- 12:15 p.m. However, in two weeks, I have to be there at 8 a.m., but that’s okay because I’m a morning person!


  2. “Everything else is just noise.”

    Oh how I wish it was… as a scientist, the ‘noise’ is nearly all about resources – I came into this to read mostly journal articles, to have ideas and test them in the field and laboratory, to create opportunities for students to understand the world around them a little better, and to share what I find – I expected to spend some time managing the physical resources that requires, of course, and applying for grants (and not always getting them!) but when you need to (personally) teach three sections of a lab class when the lab is large enough to teach two sections but there isn’t enough glassware, and the ‘powers that be’ think it’s better for me to repeat the teaching every time than for them to purchase the glassware (maybe a couple of hundred pounds), well, that noise is LOUD!

    But you’re right that it’s important to remember WHY we got into this profession. And do just those bits of the noise stuff that allow us to stay employed and to have the minimum resources we need to do the fun stuff!


  3. “The education field, from K to professorships at elite colleges and universities, is coming under systematic attack because those who control public funding to education would like to have a rationale to reduce it. The notion that what educators do is “easy” work is part of that attack. It’s obviously a lie to anybody who knows anything about it, but most folks don’t.”

    A friend of mine who is an anthropologist posted the above on Facebook. I am quoting it here with her permission. I think she is correct that there is a serious, long term anti-intellectual and anti-education agenda here.


    1. “Stress-free” and “easy” are not synonymous. Usually, the most stressed out people are the ones who have the least to do.

      I am all for promoting the idea that what academic do is 1) important and b) difficult. But I’m opposed to promoting the wrong and useless idea that it is especially stress-ridden.


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