Rhetoric of Academics: Love the Work

In Love and Other Secondhand Emotions the author talks about class differences in discussing work.

For me, the question was never “Do I love this more than anything else?” It was “Am I good enough at this to have some breathing room?,” or “How bad would it be if I had to do this every day?,” or “How bearable is this?” Those were the kinds of questions my mother asked herself about her work, and those were the questions she encouraged her children to ask about their own prospects.

I hadn’t thought about it before, but I think it probably is about class differences.

Today that is a good thing for me.

Today my business students presented on entry level salaries in their positions (among other things). It was downright distressing how many of them will make more than I do right out of college.

If I went back to school, I could make more than I do.

But I also wouldn’t love what I do. I do love teaching. I work hard to be the best at it that I can be. It is more than bearable, though sometimes I feel like the “good enough to have some breathing room” is how well I am doing.

I love teaching. I am grateful that I get to teach my students. They are amazing.

I have two who got off track but have come in this week saying, “I messed up. Here’s what I am doing. Do you have any other suggestions?”

That is so cool.

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