If you are in a relationship, or any kind of friendship, then that can be in the top tier: something you live for. It can be in middle tier as well: something that sustains you. If it is in the bottom tier, then it is a bad relationship, of course. Most good relationships have to have elements of tiers one and two. Instinctively, without even thinking about it, I put my love relationship on the top tier, as something valuable in an of itself, not as something with a merely utilitarian purpose.
I think happiness is the wrong goal. The goal should be doing as much in the top tier as possible. So it's not that music or love make me happy, but that these things are happiness.
Many things serve a dual purpose: they are ends in themselves and are also sustaining and enriching. Friendship is one such thing. The more hours devoted to tiers one and two, the better.
We were talking about how much time we spend in the bottom tier, largely due to the nature of our jobs. Also because of not feeling we deserve the things in the top two -- they should be saved for more deserving people, they are rewards for the few. My non-academic friend was shocked at the conversation, is in business for self doing work he likes. But we are doggedly trying to defend our workplace in the hopes of one day actually doing work there, it is like being in an Arreola story. When off, we perform works of activism and charity, in part because we have been guilt tripped into feeling we should atone for being among the privileged tenured.
Nobody reads my blog any more but I demand (I say archly, really I mean request) you read and comment upon this post, I need to figure out a political and activist position. https://profacero.wordpress.com/2016/11/27/on-academic-freedom-2/
Oh, OK -- it is not lower tier where we spend our time, it is on the tier that supports the support tier, between lower and middle tier. Struggling to create a situation in which it is possible to do the support things.
How does this extra tier differ from the second one?
Things like, very long struggles over classrooms, scheduling, equipment, etc. so as to even begin doing your tier 2 teaching activity. Looooong discussions about strategy sessions for every contingency, how we will have plan b c d for courses cancelled such that a plan will be in place that will not stop student progress to degree. There are huge amounts of work that have to be done to get us to the starting line and it's not the same in all units, we have a Situation. I suppose it should all be tier 2 but the way we feel is that we are fighting for the right to do our tier 2 work and access to the means to do it.
So the work needed (tier 2) to get organized and prepared to do the real work (tier 1) cannot get done because you are in survival mode too much of the time.
It is this: "But we are doggedly trying to defend our workplace in the hopes of one day actually doing work there" ... that is the work that is in the extra tier. The fact of having to do it makes us not feel as though we deserve the top tier or even some aspects of the second. So in the bottom tier my colleague eats ice cream and binge watches Netflix. I do too much solidarity type work, more than is good for me.
***Yes, that is what it is, survival mode, survival mode too much of the time***
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