I can,t get too upset about this, although it does limit their learning, especially in class. I do personal tasks at work and I work at home. If it all gets done, then nobody should complain.
I wish I could shoot bolts of lightning out of my hands, like Emperor Palpatine in "Return of the Jedi." It would be useful for frying mobile devices that aren't turned off and put away during class.
Beware any mad scientist who says, "I wish I could..." As George Carlin observed, "The very existence of [military] flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, 'You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done.'"
I'm with Ben. One of the things I value about academia (and one of the reasons I stay) is the flexibility to schedule much of my work time as I choose. Of course, one of the things I don't appreciate is its tendency to spill over into all the time available, which is partly my fault,and partly the nature of the job (especially the increasing role of email in student communications). I do know some people -- mostly those who do work that involves a security clearance -- who *can't* bring work home, and, conversely, can't check personal email or use personal devices on the job. There are some advantages to that kind of bright line between work and non-work hours. In most cases, it also means that the employee is not expected to be available by email/phone outside of work hours -- a pretty unusual circumstance these days, but one to which any boss who insists on absolutely no personal communication on the job should, I think, agree. Still, not to sound like some advocate of the paleo diet and similar philosophies, but for most of human history, most work was not done during a fixed period of the day in an away-from-home setting. As I understand it, that's really a product of the industrial age, with office work coming to follow the same model, in part because office work, like factory work, required certain fairly-expensive machines and services that were located in the office. That, obviously, has changed. Add in the fact that most office workers today do not have another household member devoting hirself 24/7 to household maintenance/caretaking tasks (or a salary sufficient to support such a household member, or to buy equivalent services on the open market), and the need for some flexibility is pretty clear. Mind you, this does not mean that I'm happy for my students to conduct personal business during class hours, but the amount of time a college student spends actually in class is supposed to be only 25-30% of the time (s)he spends on coursework as a whole. That leaves a good deal of flexibility during much of the week (assuming that (s)he has actually allowed enough out-of-class time to do coursework, and has not, by choice or by necessity, filled up every waking out-of-class hour with paid work).
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