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James Lee Burke on University life

March 19, 2013

James Lee When I recall my university teaching experience, I like most to remember those fall mornings when maple leaves swirled across lawns between red brick buildings, and I walked to my lit class with a genuine feeling of expectation and happiness about the day that lay ahead.

But I learned another reality about university life. When money becomes short, when jobs are endangered, a pervasive and abiding fear can engender itself in the faculty and cause them to behave in a manner that you would not associate with higher education.

Don’t get involved, I would tell myself. It’s their bailiwick, stay out of it, you’ll only lose.

Sometimes I took my own counsel. Often I did not and I lost every time.

From The Convict and Other Stories, p9

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