So the problem isn't that college professors don't work hard--clearly most do. The problem is that the working lives they lead more closely resemble the working lives of writers, artists, and musical composers than they do of the working lives of other upper-middle-class professionals: odd hours and feast-or-famine working schedules; bursts of creative intensity punctuated by relative idleness, long periods that can strike outsiders as unproductive but that actually generate intense creativity down the road. Someone--students, parents, taxpayers, managers of university endowments--has to pay for this sort of lifestyle, of course. Someone has to judge whether one of its end results--reams of scholarship that, as Mark Bauerlein has argued on Minding the Campus--may be "superb" in quality but seldom gets read or cited--is worth all the expenditures and the apparent waste.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Talk about starving artists!
Yes, Professors Work Hard, But ...