People often think that college professors spend their lives teaching arcane, highly specialized subjects in an environment of publish or perish.
The truth is, though, that this is the life of a minority of us. Most of us do very basic remediation with students who are absolute blank slates in an environment of perish but don’t publish and calls to “stop intellectualizing” from the administration and colleagues.
One can hand-wring about it forever. Or one can say to hell with it and live the life one wants to be living. This means making efforts to extract oneself from the minutiae of remedial teaching and inhabiting the scholar persona that is unwanted and unwelcome at my school. One thing I do is start my day with looking who’s been reading my scholarship on Academia. Gabon, Venezuela, Morocco – this is my audience. I’m a scholar who accidentally happens to teach that Latin America is not a country. And it makes for a great party story, so it’s not all bad.