I have just discovered by chance that someone in my main department is using a graded reader I used to use at the sophomore level as the textbook in a senior level survey course. I do see why — it has abridged and modernized versions of the classics. I was using it in the lower level reading course because the plots are fun and the students find out who the Cid, the Celestina, Don Quixote and Don Juan are. But it is utterly unmodern and antipedagogical, one feels, to use abridged and non authentic materials even in language courses. And of course, when I give the same course for which this reader is being used now I use an anthology designed for that level or else actual books in good editions, Clásicos Castalia for example.
This means I struggle and have uneven teaching evaluations, and spend time I should spend on other things bringing students up to speed. It also means I get undergraduates into graduate school or at least hear them enthuse like this: “I visited Los Angeles! I saw the bookstore at UCLA! Their senior level courses use the books our senior level courses do! It means I am able to learn the same things they learn at UCLA! That is, I may be on a par with UCLA students! I can hardly believe it, I am so proud of myself!”
But, the way to do things is to take it all much easier. I could put my lower level courses on multiple choice and autograde, and teach my senior level courses with antiquated second year readers. If I did not speak English, I could evade almost all service, and even speaking English I could do service in the way successful people do, namely, accept assignments but then not do then. This is to do an excellent job, because you will have effectively blocked progress, blocking of progress is what is actually desired.
Then, I would have very high ratings on both service and teaching, and I would put very little time into either. I would have a lot of time left for research and if I sent everything to places that were peer reviewed but not very competitive, I would be a star here because there would be so much. If I sent things to first tier journals I would be respectable elsewhere and I could get a job since I would have great teaching evaluations and warm recommendations from all for being unproblematic.
I am clearly too responsible, sincere to a fault as someone once pointed out (as a child I was not believed and so I go through contortions still to prove and prove again that I really do mean what I say, that I have no second agendas and am not trying to trick anyone). But the professors I had were not irresponsible like this and I still resemble them, and I could not stomach operating in the effective way I have just described; over that I prefer to continue to suffer, or so it would seem.