Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Salary and Respect
Before class yesterday, a student was commenting that several teachers in Mississippi quit teaching and started to work at a casino she works at because they made more money. The students seemed shocked that serving drinks or changing money at a casino was worth more to our society than educating 3rd graders. The student said she made $43000 a year at the casino. I told the class that I was paid less money than that by the university I teach at. Their jaws dropped. I tried to explain to them that nobody becomes a professor because they want to get rich. Being a professor is a lot of work, and the rewards are great, but they don't come in paychecks. I explained that I made enough to live off. I don't need fancy cars (I drive a 92 Toyota Tercel) or fancy anything, in fact, everything I am wearing right now came from a thrift store. Anyway, I think the students reacted not by looking up to me and feeling how awesome it was that I was sacrificing to make the world a better place. Instead, I think they respect me less now that they know that. Sort of like they are going to make much more money than me so how can I be justified in asking them to work so hard.


Editor B said...

Sadly, I suspect you're right.

Mark Gstohl said...

Unfortunately, there are many more reasons to respect you, but now many students may just write you off as a wacko. However, somebody might think about what you said later. When I was in college (in the 80's yikes!) there was a prof who was extremely underweight. According to him, he ate only what was the average amount of food available to everyone. He probably died of malnutritian in the 90's!
His witness has caused me to reflect on my life several times. I haven't drastically changed my life (especially nutrition-wise) but he has impacted me in some way.

Well, there's my hope for the day message.