Monday, 13 February 2012

The Life Academic

This was circulated at the weekend:

It's pretty clichéd, but some of it rings true. Certainly all my friends talk about 'three month holidays' (er, no: that's when we do a lot of marking, admin, module design and finally catch up with the research that's meant to keep us at the cutting edge), while my family appear to think that I just chat about books. Well, some of them. The others ask me why I don't want a 'nice' job teaching English at a boarding school ('you'd get free accommodation'). This suggests that they don't actually know me very well, or the job. If you're not an academic: add what you saw your school-teachers and lecturers do in class to an office job. Then extend the working day to run 9-9, which is our teaching schedule. 

The other HE snippet I caught this weekend was risible bum-obsessed poet/professor Craig Raine's reply to the question of how to avoid sleeping with your students. 'I read their essays', he said. Funny, but yet again extending the myth of humanities lecturers as dirty old men preying on naive young star-struck women. Well, not here. Some of my colleagues ARE women. Some of both sexes are homosexual. All of us have a friendly and respectful relationship with students - and then we go home to kick the cat or dribble in front of TOWIE. The idea that universities are hotbeds of illicit romance is derived from cheap literature and bad TV: written I suspect by similar dirty old men. We see quite enough of our students in class, thanks.

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