“September came. The air thinned, the undergraduates returned, and classes began. Noam and his colleagues reluctantly resumed the yoke of teaching and grumbled over the numerous distractions from research that the students presented. It’s amusing how outsiders thinking teaching is the job of professors and ignorantly exclaim over how few hours academics have to work. Just last week Noam’s gastroenterologist (we’ve discovered an ulcer) asked him how many hours a week he has to teach and then laughed smugly.
“Three hours? That’s all you guys have to work a week?” (Noam’s teaching load is much light than the average-one of the lures Princeton had used to attract him.) ” And with summers off? Boy, you people are really overworked.” And he was the man treating Noam for an ulcer. Noam didn’t – never does – bother to correct the man’s faulty inference from three hours of teaching to three hours of work. What does he care what such people think?
~Rebecca Goldstein, The Mind-body Problem
p.s. Although the quote implies otherwise, ulcers are caused by bacteria, not stress.