The Paid Vs The Unpaid Lecture

Perhaps I should re-title that – ” The Paid Vs The Unpaid Lecturer ” may be closer to the mark. And no-one is keener to get closer to their marks than paid lecturers…

We’ve all heard the hoary saying about those who can doing and those who can’t teaching ( and the one with the trailer that adds  – ” and those who can’t teach, teach Phys Ed…). This is like an advertisement on the Shopping Channel – only partialy true, but made effective through massive repetition. Don’t think that the teacher’s can’t do – they frequently can do, and do very well – but the interesting part is that when you expect them to be out there doing as hard as they can, they are in here teaching.

What I really suspect is that them doing doesn’t pay the bills all that well – even if they charge well-developed prices – and that is because the people who might be customers are put off by those prices. So the well-travelled famous guest lecturer may be picking up as much spare change as they can from the lecture-room seats to fill in the blank spaces on the tax form.

Nothing wrong with that at all – I hasten to add. I write and judge and occasionally speak for money. I’m trying to eke out retirement with a better quality eke than otherwise would be possible. I don’t lie for money, but that is only because not enough of it has been offered.

Still, I do look with wry amusement at some of the lecture tours, workshops, seminars, clinics, and presentations. The presenters are, in the end, show people and the events are as much entertainment as art or science. I’m just grateful when they prove to actually be entertaining rather than just commercial. I quail at some when I know the presenter is going to grind a political axe in amongst the photographic titbits and I bite my lip when I remember learning about the debts carried by some of the lecturers. At least that explains their desire to teach…or to run…


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