How often do I feel it’s time for a career change? More frequently than before to be sure. Walking from one building to the next between classes after a particularly deplorable low submission rate (one already submitted paper and one flash drive out of 16 present) last week, I knew I needed a paradigm shift. I thought to myself, if I could just see my role as somehow other than I currently view it, perhaps I wouldn’t feel responsible for what students don’t do. Of course, the next class redeemed the day when two students took over and actually encouraged others toward accountability in the form of offering to organize a study group to meet before class – and transportation for one class member.
But tonight, an ocean away, grading papers in the tiny, living room of my aunt’s tiny cottage, catching a prize student in the act of plagiarism re-ignites my week-old query: Do I need a new career? I haven’t really felt like cheer-leading or hearing students into action for some time now. Actually, reaching for some fig leaf of integrity I actually left the academy the first time such feelings surfaced nearly a decade ago now. I don’t feel like being patient or tolerant of anyone’s learned helplessness [except perhaps mine] or pretending that their victim suit is anything else. The Emperor has been buck naked from time immemorial, why should we pretend otherwise? It certainly doesn’t suit me to do so. But then there’s the bread and butter issue. Well, there are other ways to make ends meet and, after the email I received Sunday night, it may just be time to start employing them. What say you, Jesus?