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March 06, 2018


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I don't know if you're working for a research university among upper-middle-class students, as your posts sometimes sound like, but if you are, let me just opine: your work for your school *is* good enough, whatever they say (not that they're likely to say anything but the same). I've also worked for such an environment, but it's a very different (and sometimes harsh) world compared to the community college I work for now. If you're caring about your students, trying to give them a good and useful classroom experience, and showing generosity to your colleagues, those things really matter. Research is great, too, and important, but not the end-all and be-all that research schools can make it feel like.

G's dean told him just last week that "the ones that NEED to worry about tenure never do, and the ones that don't are the ones that worry the most." It's A Thing! Machete back that fear! You got this!

"Efficiency is not God's highest priority." That is an excellent maxim, and one I need to meditate on more. (Efficiency is not generally my highest priority either, but sometimes I feel guilty about that.)

"Efficiency is not God's highest priority."

Mrs D and I both latched onto the same phrase. Right now I'm feeling the precise opposite of efficient and am cranky as can be at my inability to get anything done at all. I should probably be worried less about getting things done and more about being more patient and kind to everyone around me.

Thank you for the giraffe image. For various reasons, I worry sometimes that the path I'm on will lead to...somewhere I didn't intend -- and if that's where it leads me...will that mean that the choices I made along this way were wrong? (If I'd changed paths somewhere, would I have...more kids? A healthier marriage? Lower blood pressure? Etc.?)

I have to tell myself (sometimes rather forcibly) that the path itself has been a worthy one, wherever it ends. Then, I worry about finding the right balance between going with the flow, and MAKING my direction. But it still helps to remember that I've loved the journey for itself. (I'm about to start singing Aerosmith -- "Life's a journey, not a destination" -- so it's best that I stop here.)

Also? You got this.

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