While I am not a sociologist, psychologist or anthropologist, I think I’ve just about nailed down a working theory on how one can determine who will go into academia.
I am a well read person with a privileged profession, so naturally I fancy myself somewhat erudite. I think to myself as I pass students heading to campus, or chime in on a conversation about some piece recently published in the Washington Post or The Wall Street Journal that maybe I would be a good teacher, someone who could offer a unique perspective that would resound with a few eager bright students and badger the others into something like an education.
But then I remember that I am not a patient soul and that I blush whenever I have more than three sets of eyes on me. At that point I think perhaps it’s just the chill in the air that makes me nostalgic for my days as a student, and envious of professors who can sport tweed with impunity.
Here is my work in progress test to determine if you have the moxie to become a professor:
- Do you know working theories of various professions other than the one you studied in school?
- Does your hobby involve research and analysis of that research?
- Do you feel like you’ve forgotten something if you do not have a book in hand?
- Do you enjoy works by Herman Melville and come to their defense if you hear them attacked?
- Is Harvard Business Publishing one of your go-to websites for information?
If you’ve answered yes to four or more of the above questions, congratulations, you will likely go on to bullet things on Power Points, achieve a certain level of penmanship not often seen these days, and shepherd a boredom of students through their studies.
I will remain here, mocking Melville, shaking my head at youths and lounging all weekend in pajamas during exam season.
To those currently in or preparing for exams on either side of the classroom, take courage! The term is almost done, and it’s doubtful the world will run out of pastries or alcohol before then. I’ll try to save you some.