These are the things I dislike about being a professor: 1. having to live in prim towns in the heart of Amerika; 2. the lack of actual intellectual and creative life; 3. careerism; 4. passive agression, which passes for ‘professionalism’ but is actually just whiteness; 5. the general hypocrisy which reigns.
I love to write, and I am a good academic writer. I do not find academic writing difficult, but I often find it dull. I am, of course, happy to do it as a job. Let us imagine, felicitously, that I could do it during the week, with a good library at hand, in an interesting city or a dramatic landscape. But in my job, it must be done late nights and weekends, when one is already tired, in lieu of placing oneself for those hours in an atmosphere livelier than one’s prim town. And since my university does not have interesting speakers or good library collections, my reasons for being at a university at all, are left unfulfilled.
When everything is already so restricted, so colorless and prim, writing in the cautious, measured academic style, where one says “may be” rather than “is,” and where the word “perhaps” is held in high favor, is most uninspiring. That is the practical conflict I have. Today, nevertheless, I will finish my article.