The Pink Flamingo Mailbag

Dear Pink Flamingo,

I’ve been hearing a lot lately about how lazy you professors are.  I’ve heard you only work about 20 hours per week, have summers off, and spend the winter break just lounging around doing nothing.  Is that true?

Sincerely,

Jealous in Janesville

Dear Jealous,

Yes, it’s absolutely true.  The vast majority of us got into this field, not because we value education, but because of how easy it is to do what we do.  When it comes to the winter break, most of us use it as a chance to sit around and relax rather than to catch up on the work we were unable to complete during the semester.  We never have meetings during this time, never go to conferences, and never spend this time planning our courses for the next semester or working on our research. 

In fact, here’s what a typical day will look like for me over the break.  When I’m ready to get out of bed (around 10:30 or so), I ring for my valet.  He brings up my clothes for the day (all new as I don’t like to wear the same thing twice) and lets me know what the cook has prepared for my breakfast.  Typically, I take my breakfast (usually eggs benedict) in the den so I can watch Saved by the Bell while I eat.  My masseuse is scheduled to arrive around noon for my hour long massage treatment.  After that, I usually take a long bath and eat the lunch that’s been prepared for me.  At that point, I’m pretty tired so I take my afternoon nap.  When I wake up, it’s around 4:00 and I like to spend the next few hours before dinner watching television or movies.  Around 7:00, my lobster dinner (I have them flown in from Maine each afternoon) has been prepared for me so I sit down to eat.  After my dessert, I adjourn to the game room (if I still have the energy) and spend the rest of the evening playing video games before bed.  My valet then brings me my cashmere pajamas, I climb into my ridiculously comfortable bed, and fall asleep to the sound of my personal orchestra playing Hush Little Baby.

It’s a glamorous life and I sometimes wonder, if what we do is so very easy and our lives are so luxurious… why don’t more people do it?