This week Rate Your Students has been publishing diatribes from angry professors explaining why they're quitting teaching. It's depressing reading, although it's not necessarily a bad thing when someone who bitterly hates teaching quits. The last thing we need is another bitter professor running around loose.
But then I look around and try to locate a professor who is not bitter and I come up empty. Throughout academe, this is the bitter time of year: we've given our best time and energy and expertise to the students and the institution and what do we have to show for it? Whining e-mails full of complaints, excuses, lies, and requests that add up to additional work and stress just at the moment when the gas tank is fading toward E.
If the entire school year were like this week, there would be no professors left. But that's what summer is for: time to refuel. We'll start today at the departmental picnic, where the menu includes grilled bratwurst served with a side dish of hearty laughter, and we'll watch the bitterness blow away in the sweet spring breeze. Let the summer come. There will be no resignations in my department this week.