Historiann says this and I am glad to hear not only I have this problem. My
unhappiness inadequacy as a professor would be greatly mitigated by a lower teaching load.
Here is that journal on syllabi, and we should all publish in it, for many reasons including that it will get us research credit for teaching activities. I found out about it from the Spanish Professor, and I am happy about it.
I have been having a very interesting time talking to people in English about teaching intermediate undergraduate language and literature and I would like to use some of these ideas in Spanish.
I feel as though I should dedicate myself much more to teaching and this is very depressing.
I feel so guilty about having done the Ph.D. and having been interested in research, I have no way to express it. I am so angry about all the dedication to lower level teaching one is expected to have.
At the same time I have always resented the strenuous advice about “cutting corners” on teaching. I am not very interested in most of the kind of teaching I have been assigned in life. If I do not think about it seriously and give myself time for it, I do not do well enough at it. Trying to save time, disturbing oneself at work with constant reminders that one only has a certain amount of time and must speed, is suicidal.
I have, however, made a major error this semester. I have two courses I have taught before a lot. If I were teaching them in the standard way, where I am at ease, my life would be easy and I would be able to think about other things. But I felt these courses were getting old, and I changed them both, and I made them too difficult. I was foolish; I should have cut corners on teaching. I am only torturing myself and the students, and I am neglecting my resarch program as I try to rescue this situation. This is what is meant by spending too much time on teaching.
I disagree heartily with this post and my comments on it. The introduction to literary analysis must become easier, not harder. It should not have theory added. There should be a standard textbook with a lot of vocabulary aid in it, and this book should not be supplemented in any way. Ideally the course will be turned into a kind of story hour. For reading it could focus on the microrrelato because students do not have language skills to read anything longer, and they have never read anything literary in any language.
(That would mean I would have to learn about the microrrelato, though. I am so tired of inventing all of this creative teaching that has nothing to do with research.)
Nonetheless, I will work on teaching and I will start writing about it. Publishing about it is probably the only way to motivate me to do anything more with it. If my evaluation said I “had a magic wand” that “opened the world of words and makes students think they created it themselves” then I must have something worth saying.
I am not depressed but I am miserable. I was right that I should only be a professor if I could teach at a public R-1; right that I should only live in cities; right that I have talent for business; right that I should be in the social sciences even if these are déclassés; right about my more specific interests, and right that I should pursue them. I would not mind being in the humanities if I could work in them at a higher level, but the present situation is very difficult.
It is so hard to have to try every day to be someone I am not; to take a deep interest in things that do not attract me. It is so paradoxically self-destructive to have to undertake this repression to survive. It is so counterproductive to feel so guilty about having the interests I have and being the person I am.
On the other hand, every time I go into this incredible pain, it is really because I am not taking good enough care of myself. Yet the reason I do not is that it is so much work here, there are so few resources for it here, and also because there is no real reason to do it: I have renounced the things I wanted in life already, and the attempt to live well despite this throws the disappointment into higher relief, makes the pain sharper.
I commented madly on this post today and it was because I was trying to imagine what it would be like to be a professor who was treated like an adult, or not treated like a criminal. In the professor jobs I have had we are all guilty, we have done something wrong. We are concerned about being executed or about having to undergo some form of torture that will be terminally disabling.
I realized how abject I feel most of the time, how oppressive my university is, how traumatized I am still by things that happened long ago and that I am still afraid to discuss, do not have anyone I trust to discuss them with, and how much I live under the sign of terror.
I want responses to this post.