I got in a foursome of guys I didn't know, and on a particularly long wait on the third hole I brought out some papers and started to grade.
This mystified my partners. "You're working? I thought you were a college professor."
Right then my phone buzzed and I took a quick call from a student about a problem he was having with his research. And I answered two emails from students about setting up individual appointments.
"Shit," said one guy. "Thank God I never got the Ph.D." We all laughed.
And for the next 5 hours they peppered me with questions about the academic life, one that they had all thought was elite, rich, and relaxed. I told them my salary at one point, and one guy said, "But that's just for a semester, right, 4 months?" "No, that's my whole year."
These guys, a mechanic, a car salesman, and the assistant manager at a pest company were stunned. Each of them made more money than me, and pest guy made more than double.
It was a long afternoon. I got 5 papers graded and I wised up some splendid fellows about our job.
Q: What are your favorite (least favorite) misperceptions about the life of a college proffie? What do you have to wise up folks about?