Thứ Bảy, 2 tháng 3, 2013

The Life of a Professor

So while my non-academic friends can take a break to watch Jersey Shore, or The Apprentice, or Dancing with the Stars, should they feel like it, I find myself spending most of my time between 8 pm (when the kids go to bed) and midnight (when I go to bed) staring at stacks of students’ papers, keeping up with the readings, or preparing for class for the next day. There are many nights when my husband finds me asleep at the laptop or with a student’s paper in my hands: my body finally giving in to the exhaustion of a long work-day as well as a long commute (we are an academic couple and commute in opposite directions). Now try squeezing in research and service commitments to this model. Most of my summer and winter break is spent catching up on my research and even some on-going committee work. But research and service are such intangible concepts, especially to those outside of academia. People don’t understand how time-consuming conducting research, applying for funding, or pursuing publication can be. When I explain to my friends, that my husband and I go for several weeks sometimes without turning on the TV, except for the kids to watch their PBS shows in the morning, they gasp in disbelief. But clearly, my situation is not unique, since some of my fellow writers at University of Venus find themselves leading a similar lifestyle.

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