I had to go through a surgery last week. It all went well, the support staff and the surgeon did an excellent job and we all came home the same day. But this post is not about the awesome work that these health professionals do.
This post is about the public perception of an academic.
During the course of the day I was asked several time what I did for a living. I said that I was a professor at University xx.
"Oh that really great, you must be very smart; so you have a summer off? "
"No ! I have a very active research program and I am writing grants, papers and supervising student in the summers; Oh and I am also establishing a new lab which is a real pain the butt"
"Also I am not paid by the department to do all this stuff in the summers"
I didn't say this last line as every one was polite and I wanted to be as well. But all these questions made me think that the pretext of these questions was "Oh you are a professor and you are taking a summer off and still getting paid: how wonderful"
I know that FSP and other have touched on this subject multiple times. I am beginning to see what they were saying.
All in all I am very happy that I got my surgery done; am alive and well and recovering fine. Spending time with my wonderful wife and kid has been awesome in this previous week.