There's Something In My Navel (An Ongoing Series*)
Reading about Coaster Punchman's paint job
in his new house reminded me about a theory that I heard once and immediately adopted as my own: that the least stressful jobs are the ones that have the shortest time between work and result. Painting, for instance, or carpentry--you can labor, then look at a thing and say "I did that." Teaching isn't like that. Even if students do well on a writing assignment or do something cool with their lives, you can't know that it was your effort that impacted them. Sometimes, years after you have a kid in class, he might come back to visit and say "Thanks, you really helped me." If you are really lucky one of them will say it at the end of the school year. Not that teaching doesn't have its satisfactions, but the wait time between throwing the pebble in and hearing it plink is long. Ergo, stress.
Which is why I'm happy for CP and excited about tackling my own house soon. Working in the abstract is fun and all but it just encourages types like me to go further and further inside our own heads, where we impress ourselves with theories like this one, and words like ergo.*Part One can be found here, another self-referential post, but I also refer to it here, somewhat less offensively
. I even worried about this in my very first post.