Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Are academics isolated and alone?

It has been more than 6 months since I started my TT position. For sometime I have been thinking if academics are generally isolated and/or feel alone?

For me I have been feeling this way. For one, I am much younger than other faculty members in the department and there isn't much time (or energy) that I have after my daily grind.

In general I am good with social situations and have very close friends, but none of them are in vicinity and I take a lot of time to make friends. But with the kind of work TT has loaded on my head it seems that I might not have a friend outside ( or inside) work.

It would be interesting to see what other TT people have to say about this.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Students meeting irregularity

I have a PhD student who I meet after every other week. I send him an email that we can meet on this day and time. Then the student will reply and say that we will meet and I set aside a time to meet this student.

This is the second time the student has cancelled the meeting at the last minutes citing different reasons. I am not sure how to deal with this but this does not seem acceptable.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Taking the summer off?

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.