I remember in my first teaching post getting mentored by a great man who I long admired. I was super fortunate to luck into a junior faculty spot in his program and I floated on clouds for weeks before my first day.
I saw him only fleetingly during orientation, and then suddenly the first day of classes were upon us.
I had a fresh new briefcase. I was wearing a new suit. I felt as if my life had finally begun, the life of the mind, the great passing of knowledge.
The great man waved at me as he headed for his first lecture, a slew of grad students in tow. I imagined them striding across the quad, a hundred or more undergrads waiting.
About 25 minutes later he returned to his office. As he keyed his door he belched loudly. "Fucking undergrads," he said, "I wouldn't piss on them if they were on fire."
That shouldn't have haunted me as much as it has.
Q: When did you lose your naive and dewy eyed view of the profession? When did you lose your academic innocence?