Dear Terrence,

You once said as a complaint that you’d probably never do anything more than manual labor. First of all, if you’re complaining about that it means you really don’t want to spend your life doing manual labor for your money. If that’s the case, perhaps a little more focus in class would help open more doors of opportunity.

Labor-Pearce-Highsmith-detail-1More importantly, though, I’d like to point out that there is nothing wrong with manual labor. It has a great many advantages over mental labor. Your post-work exhaustion is real, deep, and runs throughout your body. My exhaustion when I’m done teaching some days is purely mental — usually from dealing with some of your and your peers’ in-class decisions. It’s often an exhaustion born out of frustration, in other words.

Another advantage is that once done, physical labor usually produces some sort of tangible product. You can hold it, sit in it, take shelter under it — it’s not just a theoretical assistance like my job often provides. Many people view teaching as planting seeds, and we never see the fruits. With manual labor, it’s different.

Finally, there’s a great need for it. We need plumbers and carpenters, mechanics and janitors. They’re noble professions, each and every one of them. So it’s nothing to be upset about. Be pleased that you have skills in that direction.

Somewhat envious of how you’ll fall into bed every night so exhausted that you’ll just drift right off to sleep,
Your Teacher


2 thoughts on “Working

  1. It doesn’t matter what you do, or how much you earn. What’s important is to love what you do.😃🐻

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