Wednesday, March 07, 2007

On Middle Age

I've always wanted to write a paper with a title that begins with "On..". Well, not really, but maybe when I'm older and wiser I will.

In the meantime, today I was thinking about something that is great about being a Middle Aged Professor. I am young enough that my former professors are still active but old enough that some of my former students are now professors. It's hard to explain why this is so great, but as an example, later this spring I will attend a small meeting that will also be attended by my advisor from college and by one of my former students who is now a professor. They are my 'academic family', and, at least in this case, it is a family of people who like each other.

Why am I being so positive today? Even I need to take a break from complaining once in a while. Also, I have a colleague who is trying to decide whether to stay at or leave the university where he is now, and we were talking today about what we like and don't like about where we're at with our careers. Today we avoided talking about the stupid details of what we like and dislike, and kept the discussion a bit more cosmic about being a mid-career professor and how to decide where to spend the rest of it. The where part is tricky, but I feel more confident about the other aspects of my life/career: why I do this job, how I do this job, and so on.

And in case anyone is worried that I spend too much time being analytical about myself rather than scientific things.. I also submitted a paper.


Anonymous said...

Some researchers claim that middle age is the worst time of your life. Maybe they don't ask enough female science professors.

Ms.PhD said...

Hooray for taking a break from complaining. =D