v6.2.3 - moving along, a point increase at a time

I don’t want to be an academiyawn!

Like the pun? academian + yawn =… oh never mind!

I never said I was a comedian ;-)

Anyway, in the past couple of years I’ve been thinking of a doctorate. I have discovered that I like to teach, so I thought that I may be able to do it for a living at a college level, which requires a PhD (or some doctorate thereof). I’ve been frustrated with PhD programs though. Most are full time, which means you need to quit your day job, for a period of four to seven years in order to do your doctorate. This is not a great option, considering that I need to work in order to pay the bills!

The other thing that I have been steadily discovering is that college professors don’t just teach. It seems that (depending on the college or university of course) tied to your performance evaluation are things such as research, conferences, and other non-teaching activities, most of which constitute the who “publish or perish” atmosphere that exists.

This does not surprise me, considering that in my undergraduate degree I had professors who were thought to be simply BRILLIANT, but could not teach to save their lives (not all of my professors were like this, but a lot seemed to be like that – notable exceptions: language teachers).
Universities have two conflicting missions: create new knowledge, and teach. Someone who knows how to create new knowledge (through research) might not be able to teach well, and someone who can be a star teacher, might not have a high interest in research (which is the category I fall in).

I know that if I ever get a doctorate I probably have to attend conferences, and I don’t mind that. I like conference. I get to meet like minded peers, exchange some knowledge, make some connections, and possibly get some first hand research material to teach in classes (although from what I gather people are not always eager to share because of fears of work theft – whatever).

I think that presenting academic papers is boring. Who came up with this? Just run me off a copy of you paper and I will read it when I have the time, and disseminate the knowledge to my students, I don’t want to sit and listen to you read a paper, what am I? In second grade?
What happened to having the passion of learning new things and then teaching things to n00bs?

I don’t want to be an academiyawn. I want to be a great professor. I want to have the time to peruse the new knowledge created by others. I want to digest it. I want to thoughtfully incorporate it into what I teach. Don’t force me to conform to your broken system – fix the system!
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