Tuesday, November 24, 2015

It's No Wonder...

My Mom called yesterday, just after noon, on my cell.  I was between classes, so I answered, and asked if she was okay.  She said something about it being lunch time, so she'd called.  And I told her that I was working, which is pretty much what I do during lunch time.  (I have an hour between two back to back classes, and another class, so I refresh my brain for what we'll be talking about in that third class.  I do need to refresh my brain.)

And then she went on to chat, but not as long as she usually does.

She does this sort of thing occasionally, calling while I'm at work, and then seeming surprised that I don't have time to chat.

I doubt she calls my brother while he's at work and expects him to chat.

The thing is, she thinks my brother works, and works hard.  And she thinks I basically lie around and read for fun.  Or something.

Whenever she tells me how hard my brother works, I think of that meme picture showing some women in Africa hauling big jugs of water up a hill with the caption something about if people were actually paid based on how hard they work, the women of Africa would be millionaires. 

If my Mom will never believe that the one professor she knows actually works for real, then it's no wonder that our governor and legislators think we lie all day around having grad students feed us grapes.


I'm a little cranky today.  Some folks I know have no classes tomorrow because their school(s) have no classes.  The local K-12 schools have no classes ALL WEEK!

We have classes here until 5pm on Wednesday.  And so, I have plans for my three classes.

And then I hear about this or that colleague who's cancelled their classes.  I'm so tired.  I wish we could all just cancel classes.  Or I wish that I felt like I could just cancel my classes.  But instead, I resent the people that do cancel their classes and take off.


  1. Anonymous7:17 AM

    Oh, the Wednesday conundrum. I hope you have good turnout, since you're planning to meet your classes and get something done.

    And I hope you have a restful break!

  2. I think in general people don't get that work happens outside of regimented clock-in clock-out jobs. Look at all the protests by entrepreneurs who work 24/7 but are asked to do all kinds of things by friends, family, school organizations and so on, because they're at home. Then of course there is a certain type of mother who never believes that what a daughter is doing is important (or else who thinks that because it's her daughter, it must be much easier/faster for her than for anyone else in the world); you could be CFO of Microsoft and that sort of mother would call to ask what you want for Christmas, because of course M-soft is doing so well that your work doesn't actually matter. Or the wannabe academic mum such as mine was who thought that grading papers must be So Fun, like endlessly playing school with dolls . . . which shaded over into "your work isn't real work." This from a woman who spent about 8 years of her life in a paid job not in an office owned by my father (and even including those years we might get up to 13). Ugh, sorry to hijack your comments with my mother-issues. Let's go back to the entrepreneurs!

  3. My mother finally figured out how hard I worked when she visited me during the summer, and I was catching time to revise my dissertation. She suddenly turned to me and said, I get it, you are always working. And I said, just about. . .

    This year for the first time our campus cancelled Wednesday classes. I once had an 8 AM class on the Wednesday, and there were about 1/3 of the students. Really really annoying.

  4. Happy Thanksgiving to you, pre-emptively. You can take comfort from our Canadian schedule working right through this week. Or maybe not.

    One part of my family life for which I'm grateful: my father was a professor so my family "gets" academic life even if they tend to think that a historian doesn't really work like an engineer or a scientist.

  5. My beloved mother has the sense that I am working on Some Things and that to suggest to me that I have lots of time off in the summer is a sure route to setting me off on a tirade, so she gets more about academic work than she used to. My also beloved father used to say "So you write this all for free?" and after a lot of complications I was forced to conclude "pretty much, yes."

    In conclusion: Happy Thanksgiving!