Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Where a Placid Philosophy Prof Schools All of Us on A Variety of Things

The guy who needs a hug needs more than that.

There may be some truth in his comments, but he sounds as if he's got other things going on that contribute to his mood. There's too much of the black and white in his posting. Of course there are bad students and petty faculty, but this all or nothing attitude is going to eventually poison every job this joker ever gets.

Instead, it's a wash of gray in any job, in any teaching position. I have colleagues who reside on either end of the continuum, but most are like me - in the middle somewhere.

I don't publish as much as I should, but enough to stay in good stead with my bosses. I put enough energy in teaching so that the better students get a little better and the middle of the road students pick up some stuff. I don't do anything extra for the bottom feeders who'd rather be watching Spongebob than going to school.

Nobody in my department is evil. Some people have a little evil in them, but I stay away. The committee work is sometimes draining, but I zone out when it's a drag, and I work slowly so as not to build up expectations or get that "extra" job at the end of the semester.

I have a schedule that most workers in America would trade for in a moment. I make enough money to own a little house. I'm not rich, nor will I ever be, but I have books which I love, and about once a year I turn some student on to my field (which is Philosophy) and that student occasionally goes on to grad school.

It's not exactly the career I thought it was, and I suspect a lot of people in my situation realize that after a while. But I'm an adult and I am able to understand the concept that the world is an imperfect place and that sometimes a little flexibility is necessary. I wish the same to everyone.