Well, as a tenured faculty member who sacrificed a lot to get to this point, I would have to that in my case a lot of depression in academia is environmentally driven. Academia amounts to high expectations with almost no reward. One is either bombarded with large amounts of trivial criticism or politically supported unworthy praise. I for one wasted my life following an academic life and would recommend others to look elsewhere for a more fulfilling life.This morning, I saw a facebook post by the out-going chair of the English department at KU, which said, simply, "I love my department." I love the English department here too, as well as my own department of Spanish and Portuguese. The amount of knowledge and culture present when I am at the table drinking martinis with people like Ken Irby or Susan Harris is extraordinary. My response to someone who can only see the negative in academia is to get out in order to let one the hundreds of other people who want her tenured job in. (Or his tenured job; I shouldn't be sexist not knowing the identity of this whining loser.) Yes, depression comes from outside, from "environmental factors," not from how one responds to these factors. Because it is easy to discount all the praise your get as "unworthy" and hence impure, and all the criticism as "trivial." Nothing means anything, then, if you set up those as the only possible categories. How can you waste your life pursuing your most passionate interests and getting to teach them to a new generation of young people?
Friday, May 4, 2012
I got this comment the other day on the most popular all-time post on this blog: