Thursday, January 25
I wish I could say, like Fraud, that I like my job, but my dirty little secret is that, at the moment, I don't!

My god, the whining, the never-ending whining. Most of it is from students that either can't or won't read simple instructions (much less the reading assigned for class!), and were apparently never taught the rudiments of polite behavior (hint, when calling a professor to ask a question, it is generally a good idea to preface the question in some way, perhaps by using the word "Hello"). These are upper level students, and I have to wonder how they made it this far. And that query is, at root, why I hate my job currently. Is that the ideal we are espousing? Because it's not what I signed up for -- I signed up to be a professor, not a teacher, to lead students to knowledge and make the introductions, not consummate the relationship for them.

I love the research part of my job right now, and, gee, it would be nice if I could do some of it instead of pandering to lazy little brats, covering for lazy old faculty, and teaching too many courses.

Someday soon, I hope that I can again say that I love my job, but right now the joy isn't here, just the overwhelmingness and overwork. I'm not bitter though, not at all. Because I'm sure that teaching is important for tenure!


fraud, in denim said...

I'm sorry, CC! I'm so happy that you're whining here, though. It's nice to see you again.

If it's any consolation, I think it wasn't an accident that the day that I decided I love my job was a Sunday - not a Thursday when I realize that I didn't accomplish even one thing yesterday that will be reflected in my tenure packet (and today's not looking much better).

I had a student, and granted not the type that you describe, but a passionate, intelligent student, in my office for an hour today. Do they not realize how far an hour goes when one's got a to-do list? Of the hour maybe 5 minutes was really necessary (and not even for my class, but advice for another class that he's taking), but for some reason he likes my company and just stayed and stayed and stayed. Can I put that in my teaching portfolio?

Turquoise Stuff said...

CC, sorry to hear about this. I hear ya! I find the same thing happens with graduate students on occasion, which is even more demoralizing in my opinion. After all, talk about a population that really should be in it for the learning not the whining.

These experiences always make me wonder if there is anything I can do better to get points across in a more comprehensible manner. But I really don't think it's always on us. If someone simply doesn't care, it really doesn't matter what dance we perform for them.

Fraud, regarding the students who stay for too long, have you tried strategies to get them out of your office quicker? Granted, it's really hard if a student just keeps going on and on and on. But if they stop at all, that gives you an in to say something that may hint at how you're ready to get back to work unless they have a very specific question for you.

I guess one possible way to handle this is to set a time limit on meetings, partly for yourself, but also so they know they can't stay forever.

Anonymous said...

I love your post! I thought it was just me that students whined to. I hate the whining. Hate.