Thursday, September 7
...but coming from a family of people with little to no college experience, I heartily relate to this article from today's Chronicle.

It's even got a little something about how much money we (as academics) make, which is clearly an issue close to our hearts.

4 comments:

Salmon Ella said...

That guy's mom sounds really annoying.

I come from kind of the opposite scenario--I actually find myself getting irritated when professors try to teach me the "in's and out's" of university life when I actually do understand what I'm getting myself into and what a career in the academe involves (more or less anyway).

My in-laws are different story, though. Much like Annoying Mom, they don't really "get" it. They don't understand why, as a grad student, I don't really have summers off (beacause as a school teacher, my mother-in-law had summers off). They don't understand why pursuing a career in academics might involve moving all over the place ("Can't you just get a job around here?"). They don't really understand that going to school is more than just an expensive hobby ("If you're so stressed, why don't you just quit?"). And on and on. I don't even bother trying to explain things to them anymore; I just give them the answers they want to hear so they'll keep babysitting my kid for me.

wisteria said...

I can totally relate. I've grown very tired recently of explaining to people what I do. Answers to questions such as: "You only teach 6 hours per week? What are they paying you for?" are not going to change that world view, anyway. I, too, get newspaper clippings from my folks with success stories of my former classmates - and tons of suggestions on how to settle for a "real job". Sob! Koda, maybe you have some grant money left for me to accompany you on those cookie-and-sherry conferences overseas, so at least I can enjoy my futile existence to the fullest!

kodachrome said...

Just so we're clear, we dislike parents thinking about all the "real" jobs we might have because we already spend enough time thinking about that ourselves, right? I mean, I can't tell you how annoying I find it that I'm not a "real" (full) professor, especially when I take note of some of the people who are real professors. And I've sat in on more conversations with academics about the private sector job market than I care to remember. In fact...

Wisteria, I'm trying to think how we can accomplish this anonymously. I figure it'll involve PayPal, and that'll probably get caught in our spam filters. But maybe for a long term plan we should say that if a.secret survives one year, then we'll choose a location for a meet-up five years hence by having Clear* run our colors through an anagram generator until he can get something resembling a destination. After five years we can't possibly have any secrets left anyway, right? (wink). Oh. Nevermind.

*Sorry. Did I just volunteer our houseboy for further duties? I will gladly do any necessary anagramming and play houseboy to the best of my ability for anything that's my idea.

wisteria said...

Speaking of secrets unveiled, I know it's really highly unlikely, but on the last conference I attended I scrutinized every person I talked to for possible signs of being a secret correspondent. So maybe we should come up with a secret sign, a pin, a handshake, or whatnot. Oh, how exquisitely intriguing secrecy can be!