Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Students Make Prof Job Great

At a research institution, professors divide their time among research, teaching, and service. Sometimes it is called the "three legged stool." One of those legs -- the research leg -- is usually the longest.

I love my research. It drives me. If I won the lottery tomorrow, it would only enable me to do more research. Teaching can be a drag. But the students ... they can be awesome.

This was a good week for me research-wise. One new publication (an edited book chapter) arrived, final revisions for an accepted manuscript went out the door, and an entirely new submission went out the door. These things feel great.

But I had even more fun meeting with a student today. It is fun to talk to them about what they are learning, why they like strategic communication, and what they want to do with their lives. It's fun to try to make a difference in their lives. And it's gratifying to see how much they appreciate your time.

One of the things I love about Texas Tech is that their system encourages professors to be great researchers and great teachers. As much as my publications come to resemble children in my lives, they are not nearly as enjoyable as an energetic young student.


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