You may not

And this is the other thing I do not understand about academia, our duty to be in academia, and so on. All I ever heard about were the things you may not do if you are a professor. You may not:

* desire to live somewhere pleasant, that you have any part in choosing
* have a family or live where you can have friends
* be involved civically or do anything else that could possibly drain time from research
* spend enough time on teaching so as to be prepared enough not to have it be highly stressful
* have views, share views, advocate for views
* make enough money to keep and regenerate savings or an emergency fund … or travel to places you find renewing
* publish research that is controversial in any way
* change or evolve in terms of research field or orientation

If you are serious and good enough, you will renounce all of these things for the sake of a research area you chose at about twenty. And you will stick with it, because you owe this to the world in exchange for having gone to graduate school against all advice, and for having enjoyed it.

These, seriously, are the things I heard, was told, learned. I do not know who the people are who feel they, and their lives are owed such allegiance. But do you see why I am sad, having worked so long to renounce all of these things? If in exchange you do not get libraries and travel to archives, it is a seriously poor deal. But look — just look at the grey view I was given, and told it was my duty to accept because of having done the Ph.D. against all advice.

All of this is allegedly about “time management” and “discipline” but really it is about renouncing the self. People tell me I need to learn to stand up for myself but what I have been working on all this time is renunciation of self. Just look at that list — look how bad it is.




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Filed under Banes, News, What Is A Scholar?

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