Positive comments?

linden higgins linden at MAIL.UTEXAS.EDU
Mon Aug 18 12:00:54 EST 1997

>In article <199708181351.IAA32556 at mail.utexas.edu>, linden at MAIL.UTEXAS.EDU
>(linden higgins) wrote:
>> Also, there are good things about academia -
>> Where else could I arrange schedules with my husband to make sure that our
>> daughter spends no more than 6-8 hrs/day in day care?  Where else could we
>> work, and just decide to take a half day and go hiking with her?
Aloisia replied:

>     I am happy for you---you sound like someone who is enjoying her life
>and that is, in the final analysis, EVERYTHING.  But I just wanted to
>point out that your situation is not by any STRETCH of the imagination,
>typical.  Most people could never DREAM of a 6-8 hour day as a post-doc,
>or faculty member.    I cannot even imagine just deciding to take off for
>afternoon hikes.  And of course, I would say MOST people do not have the
>luxury of not having to worry about money.  Which is what started this
>whole thing in the first place.

I just want to point out that I did not say I am only spending 6-8 hrs/day
working -- but that my husband (also a faculty member) and myself arrange
our schedules so that our daughter does not spend more than 8 hors a day in
day care (not that we could afford after-hours penalties or sitting, even
if we wanted that).  And I certainly would not say I didn't have to worry
about money - just that I don't have to worry quite so much (in this lovely
country of ours, you are judged by your salary - I've actually had people
say that I wasn't really a professional or really career-oriented, because
I'm still being paid a student wage).  Of course, if I wasn't married, I
might not have a child, and I certainly would have a different kind of
flexibility (the old 2-career problem).  And if I did have a child, I would
not be temp-teaching at little more than what our grad. students are paid
to be TAs.

But yes, it is depressing and stressfull.  I suspect we all have our nights
laying awake wondering why on earth we are doing this.  Or, to use Cris
Boake's image, how on earth we can add another brick to the juggling act,
and stay sane.

And, in ecology and evolution, industry is rarely an option.


Linden Higgins
Department of Zoology
University of Texas
Austin, TX  78712

telephone:  (512) 471-6905  FAX (512) 471-9651

linden at mail.utexas.edu

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