At the end of a day of academic work, you may not want to talk to anybody else, and giving yourself that option is a form of self-care. But that kind of self-care doesn’t help you to play well with others, so it becomes a vexed choice - be a good academic, or a good wife and mother.
Outside the academy, I’m sure the perception remains that academics sit in leather armchairs, gazing out the gilded windows of our ivory towers, thinking all day. That has not been my experience, nor that of anyone I know. My colleagues and peers have, however, experienced levels of anxiety and depression that are six times higher than experienced in the general population. They report higher levels of workaholism, the kind that has a negative and unwanted effect on relationships with loved ones. The picture is often even bleaker for women, people of colour, and other non-White, non-middle-class, non-males. So whether you think academics are ‘delicate woeful souls’ or not, it’s difficult to deny that there is a real problem to be tackled here.
Can you engage in the present moment and let go of your other concerns while not engaged in a) an activity that demands all your attention, or b) under the influence of any drugs, or c) taking a sick day? Reading this might be a start, but hardly enough to free yourself from the pull … Continue reading Are You Living in Haste?
Questions about Exploitation and Invisible Work in Academia It is an open "secret" amongst academics that universities exploit the labour of their academic staff, and more importantly, that they exploit the unpaid labour of their academic staff. There are arguments for and against this – doesn’t every vocation evoke unpaid labour? Hasn’t academia always been … Continue reading In Academia, All You Need is Love