Sunday, December 07, 2008

To be fair to BNCC..

My previous post shouldn't be construed, at all, as a complaint about not being acknowledged or appreciated by folks at BNCC. That simply isn't the case -- I've had plenty of people, both administrators and faculty, show their appreciation when I've taken initiative.

The college President himself decided the debate team was important enough to fund. The person who is the acting President this year was hugely supportive of both me and my team. The question was always, 'what can we do to make this happen?'.

As Chair, I've received many accolades from the folks in my division. They've appreciated my efforts to communicate with them, without having monthly meetings most of them can't attend. They've appreciated my suggestions concerning their options for classes, on-line teaching and other things that made their lives better.

It isn't that I'm even feeling over-worked and under-paid. Of course, I'm in academia and my pay isn't amazing -- but, it isn't bad and I have good health insurance (thank GOD for that, this year I've needed it!!!!!!).

Rather, I'm kind of wondering what it would be like to be someone else? Someone who finds it possible to teach and leave. Maybe it's a function of age and seniority -- at least at BNCC, the people who teach and go home are fairly senior. Most of the ones I know about aren't going home to kids -- maybe a spouse and a pet... but, it isn't as if they are leaving quickly and not involved because they have kids getting off the bus.

This may be one of those questions, similar to the ones like 'I wonder what I'd be like if I were _________ (taller, shorter, had rich parents, were Asian, etc). It is impossible to answer, because you can't actually create the circumstances. Maybe it's the older-sister in me, I can't leave things alone -- it's part of my personality, just like my sense of humor and the stuff that makes me cry (mostly sappy songs on my ipod).

So -- I'll continue to wonder, just like I'll wonder about the folks in other kinds of jobs --- who can mostly leave those jobs at work. Some days I'd love to have that kind of a job, but then I realize that even when I had them -- it wasn't the case that I treated those jobs as 'leave the work at work' jobs.

Sigh... tomorrow I'll be 40, don't you think I could get used to being ME in 40 years?


timna said...

Happy Birthday!

Even at 50, I'm still wondering what it would be like to be x or y or z, so don't count on it going away.

btw, my son - all the time I was writing the dissertation -- was saying that he wanted to be a mail carrier when he grew up. he explained that they don't take their work home. he was probably 8 at the time.

~profgrrrrl~ said...

That's an interesting question about what it would be like to be one of the folks who could just teach and leave. I've often wondered that myself. I don't think those people are all that successful early in their career. Perhaps it is not a quality that gets one hired? But perhaps it happens over time, that one steps away from the job. I mean, if you lose your passion for it somewhere along the path, what do you do? Career switching doesn't seem to make as much sense as just partially checking out (sad as that sounds).