A Vision of Professors Today (by Sandra)

Sandra just posted this wonderful inversion of the video in the comments section. In case you missed her comment, here it is in its entirety:

As the world becomes ever more complex and fast-changing, the role of higher education as a guardian or transmitter of culture and citizenship needs to be protected.
– UK Government’s Dearing report, 1997

It these walls could talk …

What would they say?

If lecturers are rewarded more for their research than their teaching

Why do they lecture at all?

The information is up here.

Follow along.

Follow.

Of course, bookshelves cannot talk.

But lecturers can.

What is it like being a lecturer today?

66% of my students

Bother to come to the lectures

I spend all Sunday carefully preparing.

I spent five days researching and preparing.

A carefully considered reading list

Of which my students read

20% of the items.

I spent the summer

Creating an online learning environment

Full of amazing study resources

That only 30% of my students visit

I will read 80 books this year

Review three in my spare time

Unpaid

I will read 200 academic journal articles

Review four in my spare time

Unpaid

I will read 2300 web pages

And many of my students’ Facebook profiles

Especially the ones with tasteless pictures

Because word gets around.

I will spend six weeks

Finalising 2 research council funding applications

That stand a 75% chance of being rejected

Even if they are world class.

My family’s future depends on

The next Research Assessment Exercise.

I will write 72 pages of text

For each module I teach this semester

And over 700 emails

And attend 36 meetings

And spend 30 hours on the phone

And fill in 75 forms

I get 6 1/2 hours of sleep each night

I spend 1 ½ hours watching TV each night.

I spend 6 hours a day online

Twice a week

I read my children their bedtime stories

Over the phone

I work 48 hours a week

Sometimes including weekends

I’m a multitasker.

I have to be.

I have a second job

To help pay the bills

Because UK lecturers earn 2/3

Of what school teachers earn

I spent 5 years writing my last book

Which was well reviewed

And got me interviewed on TV

But I only made £50 in royalties

So you have to ask

Why I do this job?

And my answer is

Because I believe

all that stands between civilization and barbarism

is education.

Discuss.

Wesch

Associate professor of cultural anthropology. Ed Traceur. Hacker. Car-free.

You may also like...

67 Responses

  1. Victor Mota says:

    wow.

  2. barry says:

    I have given up

    on owning a home

    or having children

    because I cannot get a mortgage

    and I have to move every twelve months

  3. What can I say but…too true!?! And they wonder why they cannot get good academic staff these days!?!

  4. Roy says:

    Maybe it time that both sides start listening for a change.

  5. Hi All!

    I thought the Youtube video was wonderful.

    I did catch somewhat of a glitch though…

    I think it’s not technology *alone* that can save us,

    Because nothing in this universe is alone.

    We are the Borg, and we mean no harm.

    Only for voluntary pleasure :-)

    Oh and you should totally team up with Eric Schwartz by the way, I think he’d love to!

  6. I’m sorry, I seem to have been too hastily in my comment… I thought this was about the Youtube video :-)

    Sad to hear that so many world-class research projects and intentions are not being given a channel.

    I wonder how the internet could facilitate such a thing…

  7. JOSEPH SAVIRIMUTHU says:

    This year I have had 100 per cent attendance – 9am lectures
    The students wanted me to teach as if they were ‘sponges’: I said No.
    My lectures are conversations
    - content is kept to a minimum
    - powerpoint slides have no more than 3 sentences, some have just one word
    The students hated the first 2 weeks
    It is week 10 – something is happening
    The seminars have become creative, participative.
    Yes, there are some who are lurkers, passive and disinterested. Life was no different in B.G.
    Yes, the internal blog is virtually SILENT
    BUT their Facebook is buzzing
    AND their MINDS are buzzing.
    Not bad – one module that is trying to get Students 1.5 into Web 2.0

  8. Gabriel Martinez says:

    I’m an anthropology major and to tell you the truth, we all have a screwed up view of what barbarism is. It’s a made up term by people that thought their way of life was better than some other peoples’ way of life. Move beyond civilization that causes us so many problems, into something better.

  9. Prof_Plumb says:

    Dr. Wesch speaks for many of us. Her version is also a fair parallel of the students’ version. After ten years of teaching/lecturing at the college level, I find that she does not exaggerate for the most part. She may understand state the hours of work involved, however.

    Unlike Prof. Wesch, instead of taking a second job (I also ran many college programs during those ten years), my calling led me to the k-12 arena, where the stress factor is 100+ times greater and the funds a bit better.

    After the first two years of shock (I had thought previously that the poor writing abilities of my college students was due to poor k-12 teaching), I am finally teaching a pilot dual enrollment class which gives the superior student transferable college credit, should he/she qualify.

    I still find time to be at a premium. Though it has always had a liquid quality, time (minutes, hours, days) does not trickle/flow any more; instead, its passing is like a torrential downpour rushing past and sinking irretrievably away. So little time; so much to learn! Must be a function of old age?

    In a very Malthusian way, the human mind often works at arithmetic speeds to assimilate, while new information development speed is geometric.

    Musings (or is this my little head game to avoid grading papers?),
    MMP

  10. Prof_Plumb says:

    Ooops! Blew it again. Prof. Wesch is not “Sandra” (kudos to her, though). My apologies, also, Prof. Wesch.
    MMP

  11. ainee says:

    Tuition fees in the UK means more money for the lecturers but apparently not. They are smart, brilliant people, whom other people telling “get a life” but they are the ones whom giving life to others (their life as well).

  12. Miss B says:

    I am a senior in high school in the USA and i am preparing for college. I have tryed asking many for information about the life at college. No one has ever given me a solid answer. This was the most information that I have recieved. I wish to become ether a Kindergarten or Pre-K Teacher. If college is really that hard, then I (I am a resorce student (special education)) might not make it……..but i started writing it to say thank you for helping me understand the higher education life.

  13. MD Williams says:

    I think this video was very interesting! My son is now in college & I hope he will be able to make it in his chosen field. We have warned him that he will incur a lot of debt.

    He was home schooled. Through the years of raising our children I’ve become interested in the real agenda in government schooling and joined a group working for the privatization of our school system, http://www.schoolandstate.org/

    Please get involved in this, especially if you are an ed major and intend to teach, or at least consider the information presented.

    Also, please visit http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/
    and read The Underground History of American Education.

    It will be a REAL education about how and why our society is what it is today and what it may become if we do not oppose continuing government control of the educational establishment and the rights of parents to control what and how their children learn.
    especially at the elementary and secondary levels.

    We have a very active discussion group at Yahoo, too. Please drop in and see what we’re about. We discuss many other issues than the separation of school and state.

    Best,
    MDW

  14. Kelly Pope says:

    What I think is a point that should be considered is how priorities in education funding eventually affects students. We know we all have different learning styles–kinesthetic, auditory, visual–but what worries me is that not every school is making changes for their students so that they get the most out of their schooling. At my school (I’m a high school student at a leading arts school, a senior visual artist), there isn’t even a gifted program anymore. Which is one of the greatest slaps in the face–knowing full well that gifted children tend to have more creative potential, yet they don’t even give the county’s most creative and driven students the opportunity to learn at their own pace!
    Another thing is when art/music/drama programs are entirely cut out of the curriculum for the sake of funding. These programs teach more than how to mix colors, or to find middle C, or to be heard in the nosebleed section. The problem solving and motivation these programs cultivate are what you really need to survive, not numbers on a piece of paper. But because these things aren’t quantifiable, the government doesn’t consider it. It’s a numbers nation, really.

  15. Jake Mulcahy says:

    i completely agree, however you must look at both sides, the government whants a generation of people who are good at the accademic side of education, they whata generation that will be able to take over from them and keep countries running smoothly and helping the future generations, to them the arts are not as important and i can see why, However i can also see that the arts of drama, music and art can help develop the mind and this si something that is needed in the educational system, i hear all the time from the students who go the the high school were i do my 6th form that they are bored, they have no insentive they need something fun to keep them going through the day, and if it is not for these art classes then they wouldn’t have an insentive at all. i find that the arts are extreamly im[portant but i can also see why the other subjects such as history, english, maths, geography, even religeos studies are a higher priority, for f we cannot learn those subject the world would not be able to run as it dose today.

    ( i am sorry for any spelling errors i have allways had a problem in that aspect and i also cant type very well)

  16. Howard Stephen says:

    i study engineering, and i will spend 5 years “Studying” and then ill began to learn what my field is all about if i get job related to my profession. i.e: i see that great musicians started playing their struments at ages like 3 to 10 years, my question is: did they spent 5 or more years before they could be able to play their instrument? i think not..

  17. Alexis says:

    I will join the Air Force after high school because of the tuition.
    I do not have a car.
    I do not have a laptop.
    I wish counselors actually cared about their students instead of telling them “its ok to make Cs.”
    I do not watch TV.
    I do not have a facebook.
    All I have is friends, hw, and a hobby in my life.
    Am I asking too much?

  18. I’ve seen the film you created.

    I’m studying English and languages.
    I work in a bookshop.
    I earn for my studies.
    I do not have a car…
    …but I bought a laptop.
    In three years I will pay it back.
    I live with my parents, because my salary isn’t high enough to pay for my own apartment.
    I have friends and mother who supports me.
    Almost all of my teachers know my name…
    I am proud of it.

    I love to discuss…
    …and sf literature from early 80′ties.

    I see my boyfriend once a month.
    I’m interested in celtic culture and history of british isles.

    I have no idea what facebook is.

    Are we so different?

  19. Mónica says:

    Congratulations. Learning is just the very first step to teaching. Human concerns are the grounds we, teachers, must build upon. So many learning styles… so many learning disabilities… so many strategies… so many realities. But in the center of all it lies a simple truth: creativity is a challenge and technology is a tool.

  20. Mark says:

    Regarding Sandra’s comment about her book royalties…

    Getting “rich” (likely not the goal) by writing a book is unlikely, simply because of the royalty schedule. This is the case even when self-publishing, though you do have more control that way.

    The book is not the primary source of revenue. The doors that the book opens….are. Look at it as “lead generation” as crude as that may feel to you.

    Its a long conversation with the reader. Provoke them to take action, to want more, to ask for whatever the other things are that you offer.

    Etc.

  21. Alexis says:

    i go everyday to high school

    wondering why my teachers drone on forever.

    school should be optional,

    thats why i am truant.

  22. Tiara says:

    Haha, the comments coming up here can be a new meme. May I join in?

    I moved over 6000km to get a global education…
    …yet most of my lectures are only about what’s in my host country

    I end up missing 15% of my classes
    because I’m so busy getting the experience
    I should be getting in class
    but have to get elsewhere

    I would like to read all of the readings
    But 4 classes’ worth
    plus limited time
    means I have to cut it down

    I get to discuss my interests with more people on Facebook
    than in my classroom

    I look around my university and I see
    that people of my race stick to each other
    but not to me

    Hardly anyone in my classroom comes from my culture
    or even knows of it

    The degree I will get from this course
    Is not good enough for me to get permanent residency
    The country is not short of arts managers

    Organizations that want to hire me
    Would have to prove that I’m better than a local
    (a hard sell)

    I find it hard to incorporate my cultural background in assessments
    Because it is not part of “established theory”

    I pay full fee as an international student
    Yet have almost no access to scholarships
    People think I’m rich but they don’t know how hard my parents worked for this

    I pay $8000 a semester [ok, technically $4000 due to a scholarship, but in general]
    My local peers pay $16,000 for three years
    And they only have to pay this when they start working
    I don’t have that luxury

    I hear my lecturers stating misconceptions about my culture
    But can’t correct them because they’re the lecturer, not I

    I am not allowed to take a semester off
    Even to obtain credits elsewhere for a short while
    Because that cancels my visa

    If I want to go on exchange, I have to go through the university
    But I can’t go to North America or Europe because the university thinks it’s too much trouble

    I spend a lot of time working and volunteering in my field of study
    But can’t get a single hour of it credited

    By the time I know my semester results
    I am overseas and so cannot review how I did
    until the next semester starts

    I do not get help from the Government for housing or living costs
    Even though they are significantly higher than that of my country

    My time is better spent downloading the lecture slides from the uni website than going to class
    Because it’s both the same

    I always get asked how my English is “so good”
    I end up correcting the English of native speakers

    I am more than just my race
    I am more than just my culture
    I am more than just my passport

    ah, the lament of an international student.

  23. mssarma says:

    thanks for share.

  24. Thanks for share this article. I like article by “Prof Wesch”

  25. I think this article “A Vision of Professors Today (by Sandra)” it’s very good once of article. I really like it, your article very useful.

  26. sandra742 says:

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.

  27. I love your site. :) Love design!!! I just came across your blog and wanted to say that I?ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. Sign: ndsam

  28. megan fox says:

    Sign: umsun Hello!!! rcuwwymhyw and 7149ssgfhphzye and 4922Thanks. We look forward to hearing from you again and for your opinions on the world of work.

  29. Thanks for share this article. I really like it, your article very useful.

  30. hothit says:

    Nice! I love your site.

  31. Thanks for share this article.

  32. agel says:

    Good idea and thank you for sharing.

  33. Agel says:

    Thank you for sharing.

  34. kosana says:

    Thanks for sharing,very interesting article

  35. Well, education is like something you never know where’s an end. This article make me feel like a boy again. Thanks for all your comments

  36. aimstar4u says:

    This is a great article I ‘ve ever read. High education give us more chance to get the better job but Experience is very important too. Many people who had high education but no experience often failed So “Learning by Doing” is the best way to succeed.

  37. Great article. More education you have more chance you get but Only High education is not enough to get succeed so if you need to succeed Experience from Learning by Doing is the best way. Thanks for nice post.

  38. Yourself mlm says:

    This is a great article!!! I ‘ve ever read. High education give us more chance to get the better job but Experience is very important too. Many people who had high education but no experience often failed So “Learning by Doing” is the best way to succeed.

  39. games says:

    Thanks for sharing,very interesting article.

  40. agel says:

    Thank you for your kind sharing a good thing..

  41. AGEL says:

    thank you for Great article

  42. Agel says:

    thank for good sharing.

  43. Ricky says:

    Hey Admin!

    You have written a amazing

  44. Hello there, just became alert to your blog site through Search engines, and discovered that it’s really informative. I’m gonna watch out for brussels. I’ll appreciate if you continue this in future. A lot of people will be benefited from your writing. All the best, wine delivery new york!

  45. A lot of the things you assert is astonishingly legitimate and that makes me wonder why I had not looked at this with this light previously. Your piece really did switch the light on for me personally as far as this subject goes. But there is one particular position I am not really too comfortable with so whilst I try to reconcile that with the actual central idea of your issue, allow me observe exactly what the rest of your visitors have to say.Nicely done.

  46. Buy Proxies says:

    The internet im using is pathetic but for some reason this site loads so quick. If you don’t mind, who is hosting this site for you?

  47. I must numerous many thanks that endeavours you’ve obtained contributed in composing this blogpost. i hope exactly the same top-quality publish from you finding out from the lasting likewise. In simple reality your soil breaking composing abilities has inspired me to start out my pretty own web page now. in true truth the blogging and site-building and site-building is spreading its wings rapidly. Your increase may pretty well most probably certainly be a pretty good design and style of it.

  48. strongzz Hi, Neat post. There’s a problem with your web site in internet explorer, would test this… IE still is the market leader and a large portion of people will miss your magnificent writing due to this problem.

  49. No much more s***. All posts of this qaulity from now on

  1. November 8, 2007

    [...] Digital Ethnography » Blog Archive » A Vision of Professors Today (by Sandra) (tags: education academia) [...]

  2. November 8, 2007

    [...] 14. Digital Ethnography – A Vision of Professors Today [...]

  3. November 8, 2007

    [...] A must-read for university teachers Posted on 8 November 2007 by mrees Michael Wesch, of ‘A Vision of Students Today‘ just published in full a comment by Sandra which could be entitled ‘A Vision of Professors Today’. She starts with: It these walls could talk … [...]

  4. November 9, 2007

    [...] I want to point you first to this post in which Michael Wesch, the coordinating professor of the “A Vision of Students Today” project noted earlier this week, has highlighted a reply from a reader flipping the perspective of the video back to eyes of a professor. I think the reader’s point will resonate well with many educators. [...]

  5. November 11, 2007

    [...] E’ uscita ora, sotto forma di “doppiaggio scritto”, la versione inversa, ovvero vista dalla parte dei professori. Amaramente divertente. [...]

  6. November 14, 2007

    [...] Cette interaction permet même à une étudiante de lancer une nouvelle démarche de recherche/réflexion. Celle-ci propose une inversion de la démarche qui devient A Vision of Professors Today (by Sandra). A lire aussi… [...]

  7. November 14, 2007

    [...] L’interaction est véritablement au coeur du processus. Elle ne se limite pas d’ailleurs à la recherche en elle-même puisqu’elle se poursuit lors de la publication des résultats obtenus (commentaires à la suite de la vidéo). Cette interaction permet même à une étudiante de lancer une nouvelle démarche de recherche/réflexion. Celle-ci propose une inversion de la démarche qui devient A Vision of Professors Today (by Sandra). A lire aussi… [...]

  8. November 23, 2007

    [...] I wanted to share with the students many of the ideas that have come out of this class, but also putting it into a context, both of the history of education, universities developing as institutions, and the role they currently play, and the problems/challenges they are facing in both the developed world (Canada) and the developing world. We started by discussing the history of a university, and its “essence” – what is a university, and what is its purpose. How is it organized? I was trying to make them realize that the current way of organizing higher education is not by far the only possible way. I also showed them Michael Wesch’s video A Vision of Students Today (and I quite enjoyed the “inverted list” that Antonio Fini linked to, might have to show that to my students). [...]

  9. December 1, 2007

    [...] The same site that published “A Vision of Students Today” also published “A Vision of Professors Today”. Two questions: [...]

  10. December 22, 2007

    [...] L’interaction est véritablement au coeur du processus. Elle ne se limite pas d’ailleurs à la recherche en elle-même puisqu’elle se poursuit lors de la publication des résultats obtenus (commentaires à la suite de la vidéo). Cette interaction permet même à une étudiante de lancer une nouvelle démarche de recherche/réflexion. Celle-ci propose une inversion de la démarche qui devient A Vision of Professors Today (by Sandra). A lire aussi… [...]

  11. December 27, 2007

    [...] Ask my students how often I talk about these things in classes and you’ll understand why the video “College Today” speaks to me. The video has a companion piece, a post called A Vision of Professors Today (by Sandra). [...]

  12. January 15, 2008

    [...] 15 Posted on 15-01-2008 Digital Ethnography » A Special Education Student’s Participation in an Online Discussion about Higher Education Filed Under (Schools) by ABAadmin on 15-01-2008 I am a senior in high school in the USA and iam preparing for college. I have tryed asking many for information about the life at college. No one has ever given me a solid answer. This was the most information that I have recieved. I wish to become ether a Kindergarten or Pre-K Teacher. If college is really that hard, then I (I am a resorce student (special education)) might not make it……..but i started writing it to say thank you for helping me understand the higher education life. Digital Ethnography » Blog Archive » A Vision of Professors Today (by Sandra) » Comment by Miss B [...]

  13. January 15, 2008

    [...] Digital Ethnography » Blog Archive » A Vision of Professors Today (by Sandra) [...]

  14. April 9, 2008

    None…

    None…

  15. May 6, 2008

    [...] the problems that students are facing today in higher education. An impressive reply was posted to this project’s website, providing us with ‘A vision of professors [...]

  16. July 12, 2008

    online poker ohne geld…

    Lo poker game download aprender jugar poker poker per pc gratis metodi per vincere alla roulette poker per pc gratis…