Academics don’t retire; they die



about academics

(about Professors Malcolm Bowie & Alison Finch)

I recently learnt that my sister, Alison Finch, had retired from a distinguished career as academic in French language and literature at the age of 68. Another acquaintance, Igina Tattoni, who is a professor at the University of Rome, is retiring this year at 70. I occasionally thought both should retire quickly because surely there are others as worthy to take their places. Both are also rich and writing stuff which almost nobody in his or her right mind reads.

      No matter.

      Academics get paid a hell of a lot in Europe and they don’t retire; they die. In general that is. They also write very obscure things. My sister’s books, those that have surfaced so far on Amazon, are also very expensive which makes me wonder who actually buys them. Maybe, those people who have to – to further their academic or student careers.

      Both professors will sail out on very expensive lunches – one already has; one surely will.

      When you trawl the stuff about them, you come across interesting key-words like scrutiny and lucidity, and certainly with my sister you learn she outpaced her male contemporaries fast. I wonder who wrote that and why. I presume she didn’t outpace her female contemporaries fast. Which must mean that men are dumb and women are intelligent. Who writes this stuff? And if it is acceptable to write such gender-biased stuff in the UK, we now know why no one writes that Malcolm Bowie outstripped his contemporary female scholars. The UK discriminates positively, is politically correct and lies to itself and to the world at large.

      There are the cliques and the cliques, too, but go to the internet and read about academics’ lives and then tell me how far they are a part of what we know about and live. Why are they so removed as to be utterly bizarre?

      Why? I ask myself.

      This morning I had a very ordinary conversation with two other acquaintances about unusual activity which makes our banks suspend our access to our bank accounts. I will post that conversation soon, but for now it serves as a timely reminder that the world we live in is not the world where academics live and die but never retire, and despite what they write about my sister and stupid men, her husband* had a more distinguished career than her**.

*Malcolm Bowie

**Alison Finch stripped and outstripped by a man, her husband, Professor M. Bowie

Note : All the academics mentioned in this post appear in "Great Tits I've Known (And Other Species)"

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