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.