Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for "Robert Paul Wolff Kant." There they will be.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON THE THOUGHT OF KARL MARX. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for Robert Paul Wolff Marx."




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Friday, December 29, 2017

QVELLING

Qvelling is what a Jewish mother does when her son gets into an Ivy League school or her daughter earns a Ph. D.  Well ...

This morning I received my very first email message from a grandchild, my just turned twelve year old grandson Samuel Emerson Wolff, who wrote to thank me for the fancy chess set I gave him.  It was a very well-composed, mature email message, written on his new laptop.  His father assured me that the chess set was Samuel's idea, not something pushed by dad, who is, of course, a famous grandmaster [another example of qvelling.]

Tip O'Neill famously said, "All politics is local" [he meant "are"].  Well, in the end, all of life is local, and this email takes precedence in my mind even over the Doug Jones victory.  I look forward to playing Samuel on the new set.  He will probably win, but that is just fine with me.  When Patrick was Samuel's age, he was a Master.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

In the coming year I look forward to applying for another job to supplement my current income. If I manage to teach at two different universities, I may manage to save enough money to survive during the summer months, when there is no work. And then, during the summer, I might actually be able to write and publish something so I can climb out of the hole I have fallen into. Please wish me luck.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

It is not your fault!! My generation was just lucky. I wish I could help.

MP said...

Hm. I would've said "politics is." I haven't looked it up to try to settle it, but I treat the term "politics" as akin to "ethics," "aesthetics," "metaphysics" - a singular noun, referring either to a certain collection of principles or beliefs or values as well as (in the case of politics and ethics) practices or activities; or else to the study of such collections. And a politic, pluralized into "politics" (which is distinguished contextually from "politics" in the former sense), I think of as a political body. But again, I haven't looked it up, and could be mistaken.

But pedantry aside, congratulations on this milestone in your relationship with your grandson. (And happy belated birthday as well - I've been lurking here as always.)

I also want to reply to Anonymous above. I can only share my experience, and can't advise you on what to do - but getting out of academia would not necessarily be a regrettable course! As a human being, you deserve better.

Myself, after getting a master's and teaching part-time/contractually for a bit - for fast-food wages and no benefits, needless to say - I declined to pursue a PhD, because I knew that even that wouldn't help me to get a "real" teaching position. "Real" higher-academic positions are available only in something like the same sense as "real" jobs in sports. A few years ago, I turned my back on the whole business - but I continue to study informally today, and dream of becoming an author. Of course I must acknowledge, I had the opportunity to say goodbye in the first place only because of exceptional luck.

As for employment and income, I have these three things: (1) a job as part-time support person for a sibling with a developmental disability; (2) wealthy, resourceful, and supportive parents; and (3) Social Security Disability benefits, due to mental health issues that render me incapable of holding a more traditional job. My sibling and I moved out of our parents' not too long ago (I was 31 at the time), and are doing quite well.

In the end, all I can say is that I hope something better is possible for you, too.