Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

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Feeling Labor

It's difficult for someone with a position like mine to speak to people with traditional 8-hour days about the work I do. "You mean you only teach two classes a semester?" While that's true, it doesn't come close to capturing the labor my job requires. Take today, for example. From 9am until 4pm, I met with students in 15-minute blocks with only a few five-minute breaks here and there. Somehow, that labor was a lot more draining than working on a project would have been. It takes a great deal of energy for me to come out of myself and identify with student after student, each with a different take on the world. I felt like Star Trek: The Next Generation's Counselor Troy. Maybe some statistically minded researcher can find a way of quantifying identificatory labor. Having a ratio would certainly make it easier for me to explain what I do and how it correlates to a job in the "real world".

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