A more sensible regime!
Past blogging in more ways than one.
A couple of useful new texts for those interested in the early commentary tradition of the Church on Old Testament texts
This at least explains why every journal I see seems to have a Bird article in it! (Surely Mike owes us another post entitled “finding time for family/ recreation/ etc”.) James Crossley also seems very prolific and plus has time to go debating with W.L. Craig – How’s the social life, James? I am worried about you!
Also in the same week, we get a description from Jim West of his working day.
“No day is really typical. There are always hospital visits to make or funerals to perform or weddings to officiate. But, in general, were none of those to occur, I get up at 5:30 or 6 and go to the gym. I’m back home and showered by 8 and then its down to the study to power up the PC and check email and alerts for news stories that may be of interest to myself and potentially someone else. Then the day is consumed with a mix of phone calls, writing (I’m working on a commentary series containing exegesis and interpretation of each book of the Bible subtitled “For the Person in the Pew”. E.g., “Matthew: For the Person in the Pew” as well as a weekly Newspaper column, and reviews for RBL alongside some Encyclopedia articles at present), blogging news events and theological observations, reading, and the like. I take a break at 5 for dinner and then I spend the evening reading and keeping up with goings-on in the news and watching American Idol (or some other senseless thing). I stop all sorts of activities at 10 and I go to bed between 10:15 and 10:30 but sometimes I’m wild and crazy and stay up till 11.”
Now I am tempted to join Chris in thinking that these guys are just plain nuts. In the past I have also worried about Jim Davila and Mark Goodacre and their respective families. But in fact there is a serious issue here for anyone who aspires to being an academic or is an academic – How do we separate our work from everything else? How do we stop everything we do being about work in some way or other?
I confess that seeing ‘Ralphies’ being awarded for a whole range of non-work things just makes me think how little I read/hear/do that does not in some way end up as work (Of course writing about Johnny Cash doesn’t help much). In one sense, this works for me. It is the source of many of my ideas and I obviously value those for a whole range of reasons. But it is also a source of some unease. Do I really love my work so much that I want pretty much everything I do to go through some sort of work sieve?
Most people I know who are not academics think the job is a total doss. The usual ‘teacher’ stuff: ‘students have gone again’; ‘long summer holidays’; ‘trips to foreign places for conferences’. I have stopped even trying to explain what I do. But the truth of the matter is that there is often a lot of pressure on you to produce something (e.g. especially if you don’t have a post/tenure/promotion yet). And you are not very good at switching off because you are usually being asked to do exactly what you liked doing in the first place.
I am always amused when people question just how much value for money they get from you as an academic. Mike and Jim, unfortunately in my opinion, show just how stupid it is to question people who would probably do the job for little or no pay (and as postgrads probably did so for years). What sad, but happy, muppets we are.