In response to some recent humorous posts about perceptions of me (like tanning), I decided to post the pros and cons of some typical profs:
-Horrible taste in clothing
- Bad role model
- Very, very liberal
- Snobbiness personified
- "Oh, I am so important!"
- Deeply caring teachers and mentors
- Dedicated researches, which they apply to their teaching
- Normal people in a few cases
- Independent minded
- Excellent taste in clothing (that would be me, the tanner) - as a French/Italian/Greek historian I have a standard to live up to!)
- Spends more of their time with students than doing anything else
- Really teaches to interpret and analyze with as little bias as possible
Those are the first things that come to mind. Needless to say, since I created the post, NONE of the CONS fit me. Most of the PROS do, though they should be qualified. I am not quite sure I am normal, but I do dress really well. And I am not very, very liberal, but an absolute independent (one of the reasons my conversation with Julia and her children last night was so wonderful).
I think most people would be surprised how much time professors spend doing their job. Often on talk radio it is said "oh, they teach 3-4 times a week'. First of all, give me THAT job. Not true at all. We may spend about 9-10 hours a week teaching, but that doesn't count advising, meetings with thesis students, grading (the bane of our existence), extra sessions teaching students to write because they got no grammar in high school, meetings with troubled students, preparing for classes, and so on. I do get very defensive when people say we only do about 9 weeks of teaching. There is never a weekend where I don't spend most of it grading, preparing, reading for classes, etc. And my tanning is over for the season, since I'm back to Maine tomorrow and teach Tuesday.I admit, not coming from this background I am probably (NO, I AM REALLY ) abnormal. I hate fitting the idea of professors even though I will defend to the death the greatness of my colleagues. So I dress well, tan, often challenge colleagues who take a party line, etc. STILL, what a great life! As my aunt said more eloquently than I ever could, "Did you ever imagine this would be your life?"
Some will say I gave up a lot to do it, but that's where I say an unequivocal no. My childhood and adult experiences made me not want to live what most people 'call a normal life.' I respect greatly everyone who does so, but it's not me. That's why I value the horribleness of my childhood (always excepting my cats and my books and becoming a news/sports freak).We all have our gifts and charisms. If you ever told me mine would have been teaching, I would have laughed out loud since I'm still shy. I could always see myself as a writer, because of my high school, but I cared most about sports. Life intervened.Anyway, most of the stereotypes of college professors are accurate, which is why I am not always comfortable as such. But I probably shouldn't say more...