A curious conversation

I must renounce fretting over my participation in our foreign language program for Lent at least, and ideally forever. In relation to my distress over this, however, I had a strange conversation today.

I am told that most faculty became faculty because they loved their professors as undergraduates and wanted to be just like them, to recreate the college experience for future generations.

I was not like that. I did not love the faculty, I was merely interested in their work and what they had to say. And I liked the atmosphere of a large research organization, where everyone was working on something. And I thought having classes, going to class, was just one natural part of that — an integral part, but a part. So I wanted to keep on working in such an environment.

This is a really, really different attitude than what appears to be the mainstream one and you can tell I am a coldhearted scientist.

What do you think — is my attitude so very unusual?




Filed under Questions

7 responses to “A curious conversation

  1. Could be. I found it very hard to learn things from people who did not interest me as personalities.

    • Z

      I suppose. Interest as personalities, though, I feel is different from “love” … maybe not, but it just surprises me how many faculty really do have this sort of Goodbye, Mr. Chips vision of things and also this explicit enthusiasm about leading youth. Not that I don’t also lead youth but many of my students are my age and I seem to take responsible teaching for granted as part of one’s broader job, not as this love mission people really seem to feel they are on … although perhaps it really is that I just take that for granted.

  2. I didn’t love them. I loved what they did, or were trying to do. I felt I could do what they did. Some I could tell were not as smart as I was, but that investment in one’s own work was crucial. Like you, I am a 2nd generation academic.

    • Z

      Maybe not “loving” them is a 2d generation thing.

      • Hm. I too loved what they did; I wanted to know as much as they did, and live the sort of life they led (or seemed to lead). I loved some of them, didn’t like others. I’m not second-generation, but on the other hand, a lot of my friends’ parents were academics, so maybe that was enough to innoculate me. But I never had any interest in “recreating the college experience for future generations”! I wanted the Life Of The Mind, for me!

  3. Hattie

    I’m not an academic. Just an older student who was passing through.

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