Tuesday, October 9, 2007

No More the Academic Romantic.

I will confess that when I started teaching I was still romantic about education.

But it ended fairly early in my second year when I realized that most of my students did not want to be there, and did not - certainly - want anything more than a grade and a degree.

And so my weakness is that I simply punch the clock. And before anyone gets too excited, I believe I still do a good job. I like my field, know it well, and have certain facilities to get it in front of the vacuous student body.

I know others like me who are tormented by these feelings. They worry that their passion is gone, that they're charlatans. The others, the believers, would never understand my view, and therefore I don't share it with them.

You may ask why I don't get out, make a difference, do something else. Well there are a number of reasons, I guess. I don't have any other marketable skills. The hours are terrific. I work 5 days a week, but it's never all day. My pay is substantially less than my brothers - who are a plumber, a banker, and the assistant manager of a grocery store - but it pays for my cable, mortgage, groceries, and a modest amount of fun.

It is not the life I dreamed of, but most of my waking hours are NOT spent on worrying about the pajama-panted snowflakes. I have a great life away from the campus, and I wouldn't trade it.