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Old 06-08-2010, 01:00 PM   #61
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Well stated on all accounts. I spent 35 years in academia (post-doc research, two-short-time teaching positions, and one long-time--30 years--teaching/research position) and I agree with virtually everything you said. Letters from the Dean or from the President were almost never good.
I just finished writing the first exam for my students. The topic is regulating the safety of aircraft flying through volcanic ash I tell them they have the job of technical adviser to an unusually honest, intelligent and curious member of congress (allright it's a theory exam)
I ask them to advise the member on the technical problem and the regulatory alternatives. I have spent 35 years developing this area and I can't imagine not doing it. That I get paid well enough for sitting on my deck thinking is just gravy.
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Old 06-08-2010, 01:21 PM   #62
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The topic is regulating the safety of aircraft flying through volcanic ash I tell them they have the job of technical adviser to an unusually honest, intelligent and curious member of congress (allright it's a theory exam)
I was hoping you and your students had an answer today. My DW/me have a 9am flight tomorrow from NY to London.

While I believe we will have no problem getting there (the volcano gods are quiet at this time), I'm more concerned in getting back in three weeks ...
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Old 06-08-2010, 02:52 PM   #63
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Whenever this topic comes up, I always return to this topic, from a while ago:

Stupid Little Kid

I was/am a semi-professional. I enjoyed the technical aspects of the job, but as the years passed, spending hours on end on my feet got to be less attractive. Also, as time passed, we were treated more and more like automatons, replaceable by any swinging cylinder on the street, no matter our contributions. But, for pension reasons, health insurance reasons, and narrowly-defined skillset reasons, I stuck with it. Still not er'd, due to layoffs and market crashes and such, but starting over would have delayed er indefinitely. So, sticking it out has been the better part of valor, but I won't miss it, and it won't miss me...
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Old 06-09-2010, 10:28 AM   #64
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So, are we on this forum a different breed? Are we defined by what we do when we are not w*rking? Or were we just not into your w*rk that much? What is our motivation for wanting (or having wanted) to ER?
I suppose part of it is that priorities change. Out of high school I absolutely loathed the idea of a job that entailed sitting in an office, which is one of the criteria that attracted me to police work. So for the first time in my life having a clear goal, I went to the local community college and majored in Criminal Justice. I thought about volunteering for military service, but the year was 1968, the Vietnam war was going on, and I just didn't see the point in getting sent someplace I couldn't find on a map to get shot at for reasons I didn't understand.

And for many, many, years the job did pretty much define who I was. Working shift work and weekends pretty much took me out of the network of friends from high school and college, since I was either working or asleep during the times of parties and trips and such. So aside from family and two longtime friends, all my other friends were police officers.

As one instructor at the academy put it: "Police work is a strange job." People's expectations of what the police should or should not do are all over the map, and I remember reading of one study that identified over 3,000 different tasks that police officers are expected to do, and well. That study was done in 1933. You see the best and worst of people, and as another guy put it "You get a front-row seat to the greatest show on earth - the human race". Everything from hilariously funny to tragedies that will make anyone with an ounce of empathy cry.

Physical fitness is an important part of it, one reason that with rare exceptions you don't see any 60-year-old police officers out there.

So frustrated with the glacial pace of bureaucracy in getting ongoing training, software and hardware (I was doing computer crime investigations, which I thought was a way-cool job straight out of science fiction, but it's a fast-moving field) the insane DC area traffic, the fact that my wife's mother died six months after mine did, and having everything paid for, I looked at the retirement numbers and realized that even with taking a spousal benefit option, if I retired my net take-home pay would go UP!

After that it was kind of a no-brainer.
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Old 06-09-2010, 10:45 AM   #65
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Seems to me there are some professions where not only is there a strong tendency to define yourself by your job, but where others define you by your job as well.

Cops, doctors, clergy, maybe lawyers, and teachers come to mind but no doubt there are lots of others. So separating job from self is frequently challenged by expectations (good or bad) of others. When I meet someone in a social context, I rarely volunteer my profession. If asked I give a general answer, like "I'm a doctor [or, more recently, a semi-retired doctor]. How about yourself?" But people like to know more, like specialty, place of practice, whether you know so-and-so, and, yes, even symptom questions.

Generally I don't mind, but it does make it harder to un-hitch the job-self image thing after ER.
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Old 06-09-2010, 10:49 AM   #66
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I was hoping you and your students had an answer today. My DW/me have a 9am flight tomorrow from NY to London.

While I believe we will have no problem getting there (the volcano gods are quiet at this time), I'm more concerned in getting back in three weeks ...
This is what Volcanic ash looks like in the sky
I took this picture as a volcano refugee
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File Type: jpg IMG_3392.jpg (725.5 KB, 2 views)
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Old 06-09-2010, 10:56 AM   #67
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I just finished writing the first exam for my students. The topic is regulating the safety of aircraft flying through volcanic ash I tell them they have the job of technical adviser to an unusually honest, intelligent and curious member of congress (allright it's a theory exam)
I ask them to advise the member on the technical problem and the regulatory alternatives. I have spent 35 years developing this area and I can't imagine not doing it. That I get paid well enough for sitting on my deck thinking is just gravy.
Amen. But then, I can't remember of ever sitting on my deck to think about exams, teaching, and research. I think better in front of a comptuer!
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Old 06-09-2010, 11:11 AM   #68
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Seems to me there are some professions where not only is there a strong tendency to define yourself by your job, but where others define you by your job as well. Cops, doctors, clergy, maybe lawyers, and teachers come to mind but no doubt there are lots of others. So separating job from self is frequently challenged by expectations (good or bad) of others. .
I always explain that being an emeritus professor is often like being an actor between shows. When I'm working, I'm working. When I'm not, I'm not.
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Old 06-09-2010, 05:17 PM   #69
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I always explain that being an emeritus professor is often like being an actor between shows. When I'm working, I'm working. When I'm not, I'm not.
I'm an emeritus but I made the decision to walk away and not look back. May people have asked me if I miss the university. I tell them, "I don't have time to think about it." Everyone once in a while I do stop to think about the amazing environment in which I was privileged to work for 35 years, and yes, I get a twinge of nostalgia. But when I move on, I moved on.
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Old 06-09-2010, 05:44 PM   #70
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I'm an emeritus but I made the decision to walk away and not look back. May people have asked me if I miss the university. I tell them, "I don't have time to think about it." Everyone once in a while I do stop to think about the amazing environment in which I was privileged to work for 35 years, and yes, I get a twinge of nostalgia. But when I move on, I moved on.
In our shop I get free parking and lots of other goodies. I can't complain. Teaching and research is the filet mignon of the of the job. AND NO F*CKING GRANT PROPOSALS
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Old 06-09-2010, 05:52 PM   #71
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AND NO F*CKING GRANT PROPOSALS
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Old 06-10-2010, 11:05 AM   #72
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In our shop I get free parking and lots of other goodies. I can't complain. Teaching and research is the filet mignon of the of the job. AND NO F*CKING GRANT PROPOSALS
Yep. I still get free parking, discounts at the university bookstore, access to the library (which I never use), office space (if we want it; I don't), and most importatly for me, access to physical education facilities, including lockers (private lockers where we keep personal stuff 24-7) weight rooms, indoor track, and lap pools. I have to pay $10 per year for the locker, towel exchange, and facilities access. Much better deal than Gold's Gym!
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Old 06-12-2010, 01:31 PM   #73
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In many countries people would kill for a job. Here, jobs are so plentiful that folks don't care for them. They'd rather be sitting at home. We should consider abolishing the SS/Medicare taxes-- and their associated benefits-- immediately. I would venture to say many supposedly solid FIRE plans would go up in smoke.
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Old 06-12-2010, 02:07 PM   #74
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In many countries people would kill for a job. Here, jobs are so plentiful that folks don't care for them. They'd rather be sitting at home. We should consider abolishing the SS/Medicare taxes-- and their associated benefits-- immediately. I would venture to say many supposedly solid FIRE plans would go up in smoke.
Why not just just sell people into slavery and get out the whips? After all you are proposing abolishing the income of poor people. Do you think rich people like work any more than the poor?
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Old 06-12-2010, 10:10 PM   #75
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In many countries people would kill for a job. Here, jobs are so plentiful that folks don't care for them. They'd rather be sitting at home. We should consider abolishing the SS/Medicare taxes-- and their associated benefits-- immediately. I would venture to say many supposedly solid FIRE plans would go up in smoke.
Huh?

Clean up your plate! Think of all those starving children in China.....

Let's force most people to work until they die.......

and the elderly to much die sooner because they can't afford to treat their illnesses....

Audrey
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Old 06-13-2010, 08:55 AM   #76
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In many countries people would kill for a job. Here, jobs are so plentiful that folks don't care for them. They'd rather be sitting at home. We should consider abolishing the SS/Medicare taxes-- and their associated benefits-- immediately. I would venture to say many supposedly solid FIRE plans would go up in smoke.
From your user name to your posts, I would guess you are here just to troll for reactions.

If not, tell us about yourself.
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