Saturday, February 02, 2008

From the "I can't believe they just asked that" files

When I told my parents-in-law about the lecturing job I have lined up for this semester, I got the following responses:

"Do you have to prepare your own lectures?"

"Do they pay you?"


Mosilager said...

In my case:

1. Yes.
2. No, but there are always chocolate chip cookies and cokes so that I have enough energy to get through the day. And they've promised pizza whenever the grant gets funded.

pronetolaughter said...

The funny part, is how these embrace two diametrically opposed views of the quality of an academic's life. Totally Exploited vs. Not Doing Real Work.

Propter Doc said...

That's funny. My Dad was outraged at the thought of me having to prepare my own lectures (somehow 'lecturer=lecturing' didn't occur to him until a couple of months after I got the job).
He now tells people that I'll be 'like a teacher for students, but not like school because I will be allowed to do research as well'.
A different world I tell you!

Tom said...

'like a teacher for students, but not like school because I will be allowed to do research as well'

I think that's quite reasonable, in some ways. Especially since in the UK (and NZ, come to that) universities increasingly hire teaching fellows, paid at a lower level and with less prospect of promotion than lecturers. TFs aren't supposed to do research (or at best only very specific and limited kinds of research) in university time.

This week's Times Higher Education Supplement reports that about 20 UK universities (including some quite classy ones, like Southampton) have defined teaching career paths for academic staff which include making full professorial appointments on the basis of teaching without research.

I do think that 'being allowed to do research' is in many ways a privilege (especially for those of us who are actually paid for it).

Propter Doc said...

I've considered the teaching fellow positions. Many UK universities (Glasgow and perhaps Warwick) have parallel tracks to the traditional academic ladder for teaching academics - similar salary, promotional scales etc. It takes some of the admin and teaching load from the research intensive academics. It isn't the same as adjunct positions seem to be.

As a postdoc, I still can't believe that someone pays me to do the research part. It is a privilege.

StyleyGeek said...

Mosilager, seriously? You teach for no pay? That's insane!