Saturday, August 26, 2006

Responding to readers

Some bloggers respond to their readers' comments by posting comments themselves. But I'm not sure those readers will get back to see the responses. I'm not sure I would go back to check!

But some of the comments recently have been interesting. I'll respond to them, and maybe other readers will have insights as well.

Flexible Faculty
This comment by "cim" about faculty made sense to me:
I've also noticed that faculty tend to be fitter and also look younger. I agree with all your theories, but I also think it has to do with the flexibility of an professor's schedule. Unlike those folks who need to commute to an office from 8-5, professors have more control over their hours.
Yes! Both my jobs, teaching and writing, allow considerable freedom and flexibility. No clock-punching, just get the job done well.

This means that I can take a break mid-day for a forms workout with Brian or go the the Y for a swim. Being there to teach is non-negotiable: there are no substitute teachers for college. But other than teaching, office hours, and meetings, no one cares where or when my work gets done!

As many others of you who are professionals know, this kind of work also means that there are some weeks I'm in the office every day, bringing home stuff to read or papers to grade, and going in on weekends.

"cim" also said this:
I also think the proxmity of all those 20 year olds makes a difference as well. Professors may be inspired by firm bodies to stay fit themselves. When you're around active people, you tend to follow suit. Or maybe keeping fits helps some fend off anxieties over growing older while the students seem to get younger and younger.

Anxiety about aging? Me?
Actually, I'm in better physical condition than many of my students :-)

Tournaments and Other Schools
I'm still hoping to do a tournament sometime soon. Interesting that right after I wrote about it, I found out about 2 local tournaments! I believe they're on the same day . . .

Still, I feel like I need to really clear this with my instructors because of the way Master Hughes feels about other schools' tournaments.

John Vesia , who has an interesting blog, had this comment:
I think your instructor should make the first move and let some of his people compete in the other school, it would be a showing of good faith. Some teachers are very jealous of letting their students train in other schools, or acquiring knowledge in other arts.

I totally agree: a unilateral move might be quite powerful at this point. It would show that we make choices based on what's best for the students, not what seems to be in the best financial interest or pride of the school's instructor.

And besides, I want to try a tournament.

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