Higher education day

In this post, Lee Bessette proposes that April 2 be devoted to the theme of higher education. Dr. Bessette proposes that academics take the time to post, tweet, or blog about what they do.  Dr. Bessette’s argument is that the day-to-day work of academics is often poorly understood and sometimes misrepresented in the media.  I think that most of us working in higher education can find a lot of truth in Dr. Bessette’s argument.  How often have I heard “it must be nice to have summers off.”  When I work from home, people often assume that I have the day off. There is little understanding of the number of hours we spend on committees, teaching, advising students, marking, doing research, and so forth.  I can’t remember the last time I had the time to look at an ivory tower, let alone sit it one and ponder the world’s problems.  Twelve-hour work days and working over the weekends.  I have a colleague who logs every activity in which he engages; it’s actually frightening to see how much he does on a daily basis, and I’m sure it’s reflective of most of our workloads. Of course, I wouldn’t change my job for the world, so no regrets here, and I would be bored stiff if I didn’t have fires to douse every day.

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