Recently I experienced an unexpected burst of ambition for work. I've never been very driven regarding my career (what career) so it took me by surprise. I am surrounded by full-time faculty who teach the same classes every semester and only need to put minimal time in for prep. That means for their full-time salary, whatever that is, they only have to work 20-30 hours a week. On top of that, they have very flexible schedules. I know this one guy who only has classes on Mondays and Wednesdays. Granted he has to teach from 9 am to 10 pm with only short breaks, but he's got 3 whole days off, and it's not like the work is very strenuous. Nice gig if you can get it, right?
Even worse, I interact mostly with the other part-timers who are mostly young and hungry. They've just graduated, are unmarried or childless, and are looking to work their way up to a full time position. They actually want to do time-consuming things like build their own website, grade extra credit reports, and search online to see if the reports were plagarized. Being around these people got to me. I started thinking, maybe I should do more, maybe I should sit in on the Anatomy class so that I can teach it (never mind that I've never taught it and Anatomy is notoriously hard). And how hard could it be to be a full-timer?
It's odd that I would dread all the work I already have to do and then want more of it.
Right in the midst of this obsession, I had an interesting conversation with a friend. She taught elementary school in an excellent school district for 10 years before quitting to stay at home with her kids. She told me that her most well-adjusted kids were almost always the ones who had a parent at home. The other kids were not bad necessarily; these kids were just a little more secure, and it showed in the way they handled themselves at school. After a few years, she could predict fairly accurately which kids had working moms and which ones did not.
These days I'm still very ambitious about my work. In fact, I'm willing to put in everything and anything for my work. Lucky for me my work subjects are so cute, fun, and huggable.