Monday, August 22, 2011

Am I out of touch?

I consider myself a newb when it comes to most things academic, especially TT-related. That's part of the reason I just started following The Chronicle - to educate myself of what the hell I'm getting myself into.

Then I read the following article discussing The 2011 Mind-Set of Faculty (Born Before 1980).

My first thought? "WTF! People born AFTER 1980 are professors? Where? What am I doing wrong?"

Then I read the article and was impressed by it's fluffiness and total pointlessness. Why is an article like this wasting space? What am I supposed to learn from such "insights?" Not only do I not "fit in" with my more established colleagues, but I wonder what they think when they read articles like this? Am I supposed to adopt a me vs. them attitude toward my (potential) students?

'Cause I ain't gonna do that. Ever.


  1. I didn't even get some of the references, not even a little bit. I don't know who Mae is, and I grew up in the age when "like" became a space filler during conversations. I think the writer has his decades off by quite a bit - probably a crotchety old fart working at a liberal arts college somewhere...

  2. Ugh. This is a bit offensive (the Chronicle article, not you) to people born before 1980 and after. The comment about online learning is stupid--I don't have a choice--it's learn it or leave my job. I don't want to learn it, but there it is. This type of rhetoric is why there's such a divide when younger faculty start. I'm not a freaking idiot, but this list makes me sound like one.

    There aren't many profs born after 1980 but we do exist and now you can say you know one. Thing is, because I'm at a CC, and I have an MA and not a PhD, people at 4years with PhDs don't consider me one. But I do all the same service work as them!

    Oh yeah--age aside, most students assume anyone who is a professor is old regardless of how old or young they look. They think we're all "old", we all listen to classical music and are completely unaware of anything else that's out there. Even when I was teaching at 26, they were shocked if I knew something pop culture related.

  3. I'm glad I wasn't totally crazy in my response - I looked at some of the comments to the article and was a bit shocked by the generational wars going on over there....

    @rented life - don't let anyone ever tell you you're not a prof. The only way I was able to afford college was to go to a CC (and pick up a couple of Assoc. degrees along the way), and I loved my experiences there. My experiences in CC were much richer and personal than at Big State U, although I think it might be difficult to teach some advanced classes in a cc setting...

    And yes, I will expect my students to think I'm old. After all, I have kids. Not only do I feel old, but the constantly tell me how ancient I seem to them.

  4. wait until they start calling you dad to your face. My students mean it kindly but I cringe every time

  5. I'm already the lab Dad, only partially because I'm the oldest....

    They mean it in a good way, but it still strikes me as a bit odd.