It’s seldom a good idea to compare professions

A recent letter, “It’s ridiculous to compare teacher, medical training,” led me to recall the rigors of my late husband’s medical training and concerns about its potential for lasting ill effects. In our case, the doctor became an alcoholic.

I do take exception, though, to the claim that “teachers do not toil 80 to 100 hours per week.” As a college professor, I often put in 80-hour weeks. I also am well-published – activity that boosted the hour-count easily to 100.

My personal schedule called for rising around 3 a.m. to prepare fully for classes. As an adviser, I coached students dealing with situations such as terminal cancer in the family and domestic violence. I walked more than just one into alcohol/drug counseling sessions. I followed one very fine student with diabetes through two successful transplant operations. As a young mother took notes in class, I cradled her baby in one arm while lecturing and writing on the board, and carried through for more than one such hard-working parent.

As the need arose, several Educational Opportunity Program students became welcome fixtures in our home. Frequent collaboration with one particular EOP counselor was especially fruitful. We both take great pride in seeing our joint advisees undertake fruitful careers. I am also proud to say my political science colleagues and I helped to train several prominent officeholders in this area.

I chaired the campus pre-law advisement committee, the college court and the FSA food services committee, wielding a ladle during special events. My students and I participated yearly in Green Day plantings about the city.

Doubtless, upgrading professional training programs of whatever focus is to be recommended. Downgrading the demand of one program and profession in relation to another can be short-sighted.

Sara Slavin