If I had a fiver for every time someone who knows I’m a university professor says to me, “So, now you have the summer off!” – I’d buy an apartment on the upper West side. But it’s understandable, I know. The professorial life looks awful darn cushy: teach a couple a classes per semester, for fifteen weeks at a shot, and that’s *it*! 30 weeks of the year on, 22 weeks of the year off. Right?
Yeah, well, kinda.
To be fair, I should stress that it is indeed an amazing job and an unbelievable privilege to teach at the university level. I have colleagues who take it for granted, but after 27 years at it, I don’t at all. I know very deeply just how lucky I am. But it really is not (at least for anyone I know very well) a year-long boondoggle. Quite the contrary.
In one of my “series” of posts I’ve been trying to describe what it is professional scholars do, for those out there who wonder. So far I have done ten posts, explaining the various things that being a scholar typically entails, just to give an idea. I have more posts to go. It’s a long job description. But there are some things that some scholars do (that others don’t), and I seem to do a lot of those things. Like this month.
Last year I was asked if I would lead a three-week seminar at the National Humanities Center on a topic of my choice, for 15-20 college professors. And that’s what I’m doing with my life just now…..
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