One thing I always think about is the question of whether or not academic life is still relevant. Institutions have increasingly becoming top heavy while downloading more and more responsibilities down the ladder.
As an Academic, it appears to me that attendance to committee meetings has more value that a consistent and dynamic programme of research. Obviously “academic speak” is able to dissipate the impact of a radically changing place of “higher learning”.
A story comes to mind. As a student at l’Université de Moncton, I had a student job working with my printmaking professor, Jacques Arsenault (https://bit.ly/41p24o1). Those couple of months is when I understood what being an artist means.
So, he comes in one day with a bag full of French fries, we place them on a litho stone and run that under slight pressure. It took a while but we eventually built up enough fat deposit to produce a solid black. Then Jacques started scraping the surface (the colours come from doing this over and over). This is the work above and “fries” is actually in the title. The whole thing is based on Raymond Roussel’s, “Impressions d’Afrique”.
To me, it just seems that we no longer have those kinds of collaborative explorations between faculty and students. You can’t really enforce it; but it certainly should be given value and facilitated.