Saturday, September 30
Let me preface this with a reminder that I am a new assistant professor, a divorced mother of a school-age child who only sees his father a couple times a year, and live with an academic who never takes a day off.

Here's a conversation that I had with a neighbor the other day. He's up for tenure this year at the same institution, in a discipline much like my own.

Neighbor: "How are you? How's the term going?"
Me: "Eh... really, really busy and stressful. I guess it's just the life of a new assistant professor."
Neighbor: (skeptically) "Gee! That busy, already. The term just started."
Me: "Yeah."
Me: "Hey, what's it like having a pot-bellied pig? Do they take a lot of work?"
Neighbor: "I don't know. You'll have to ask Julia (his stay-at-home partner). She takes care of everything around here."

4 comments:

thistle said...

I think I might have had to name this post "Things that make you go homocidal".

fraud, in denim said...

That also would have captured my sentiment, Thistle.

I should add, too, that this isn't necessarily a gender thing (although I'd guess that it's usually male academics with stay-at-home partners). It was only after sharing the absurdity of this interaction with two female colleagues that I realized that they both have partners who, although they don't stay-at-home, they might refer me to if I had questions about pot-bellied pigs or othe happenings around their house.

Turquoise Stuff said...

AAAAAAAAAAAH!!! So who's the pig there?!

And see, if he gets tenure, he'll be one of those colleagues who will be considering you for tenure.. clueless about all the details. SUCH BS!!

Salmon Ella said...

I think this IS a gender thing that is common in all professions, not just academia. In fact, this is a huge issue in coaching. When you look at many successful (male) coaches of big-time teams, it is incredible how many of them are able to do what they do because they have stay-at-home or more or less stay-at-home wives who not only take care of the homestead (e.g., take full charge of the kids) but also do huge amounts of support tasks (e.g., clean the house and cook for parties when recruits are visiting). This is seen as a real barrier to the success of women coaches, since most women coaches do not have stay-at-home partners and have a hard time keeping up with those who do. I suspect its similar in other professions, too.