7 thoughts on “Shutting down

  1. A friend of mine just had a very large needle stuck into the muscles of both the left and right eye by his doctor. My friend has a problem with both eyes which requires that the muscle strength be tested every so often. This friend knew that this needle sticking in the eye muscles was in the works for about 2 weeks. Not a very pleasant person to be around with the pre-traumatic stress syndrome in place for that 2 week period. My friend may have been suffering from ADHD and ADD as well because when you looked into those two pre-tested eyes there was a blankness in there. Shamefully my thoughts kept telling me “Better you that me, my friend.”

  2. Sorry you weren’t able to ‘holiday’ this year, Suze., I really am. But, it’s nice to have great company like you to join me as we watch the rest of what’s left of the ‘middle class’ take a break: My wife and I haven’t been able to afford a vacation in almost 14 years! My heart breaks for you.

  3. Let me rephrase: I didn’t get a week away from the computer this year — except when I was recovering from gall bladder surgery and had shingles, which wasn’t the most restful experience. When you’re working 18 hours a day, seven days a week, that takes its physical toll. As a teacher, I imagine you did get summers off, even if you couldn’t afford to go anywhere? As my nana used to say, everyone’s cross is tailor-made.

  4. (Grr. Must.not.get.into.vacation.deprivation.Olympics. … Must.not….)

    What brought that on was the line about “teachers get summers off.” That’s a common misconception. Compared to a 9-5 worker (I know. *Everybody* works overtime these days, if not multiple jobs. But, unless salaried like teachers, they do get paid for that). Anyway, compared to 9-5, given the real hours teachers work, they put in about a third more hours annually, even given two months off in summer. And, at least for untenured college teachers, those two months are solid work, too.

    So, no, teachers don’t really get “summers off” any more than someone on the night shift gets “days off.”

    (Yes, this is a sore point for me because I’ve spent way too many years teaching.)

    None of which is to say that the life of a world-class blogger with no income isn’t even more grueling on the pay-per-skill-and-hours-worked scale than teachers’ work. It is.

    And none of it ought to be that way.

  5. I know how much work teachers put into their jobs. I have friends and relatives who are teachers, and I literally don’t see or talk to them during the school year. But the fact remains they are not physically at their place of work during the summer. They have time to physically recover from stress, and that’s what I was talking about.

  6. What we all need is a maniacal round of austerity. That’ll generate time off aplenty. It just won’t be restfull.

  7. (No, Susie, they don’t. Not the untenured college teacher variety, anyway. It’s madly do lab work, sit in front of computer doing analysis, sit in front of computer writing papers, grants, course prep for the coming year, etc., etc., etc. Exactly like during the academic year except minus the exercise of standing in front of a class, teaching. The only actual slog work that’s off the table is committee meetings, which, admittedly, is something. About one hour a week less on your plate.)

    As I said, I’m not saying the work of a one-woman news agency blogger isn’t even more grueling on the physical demands + skill + stress + (no) pay scale. Teachers do get paid. (Less than minimum wage at the pay scale of junior faculty and the hours they work. I counted it up one summer when I was mad and had one of those hours without committee meetings.)

    All I’m saying is that teachers are a really bad comparison group to choose. Now, if you’d said construction workers, with their hourly wages and $15+/hr pay and occasional heavy lifting, then I’d be nodding along.

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