Wednesday, March 25, 2015


All the conservative commentators who are practically slavering over "the end of universities" (apparently to be replaced by proficiency tests and people reading books as autodidacts) make me so tired.

If universities go away, how will I earn my bread? For that matter, how will lots of medical/engineering/physics/etc. research get done?

I really wonder and worry. I don't have a lot of skills beyond teaching and it would be very hard for me to ramp up for something new. (Especially if there were no teaching institutions....I have a friend who tells me because of my attention to detail, I'd make an awesome patent examiner, but I have no idea how one goes about getting qualified to do that).

I don't know. Not everyone needs to go to college, agreed. But let's also agree that SOME people do need to go to college, and professors can't live on hope and air.

(for that matter - most of the rise in tuition? Is not rise in your average teaching prof's's an increase in bureaucracy, some of it to meet governmental mandates or increasingly demanding parents.)

I'm putting away money for an eventual retirement, but I couldn't afford to retire at 50 or 55.....

Also, the whole "professors are liberal parasites who coddle the students and don't make them do any work, and just indoctrinate them" meme makes me tired. I try to figure out what the eventual employers of my students need for them to know, and teach them that, even if it's stuff that I don't find all that compelling. I could spend months on, say, seed dispersal, but I don't, because I know there are a lot of other things, like being able to estimate deer population sizes or write plans for controlling an invasive weed, that the students will actually need.

I try not to get my "feelings hurt" but I often think, when I read these commentators, that there's nothing I could say or do to make them not hate me for my career choice. 

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