Occupational Hazard

Those of you who do not hold academic positions and wish you did may take some comfort from the following medical statistic. Last December my blood pressure was 145/100; after seven months of absence from the camaraderie of my esteemed colleagues, it is now 107/76.


  1. says

    Academic music = stress. No question there. But I wonder if it also could be, at least in part, due to whatever antihypertensive agent your doctor placed you on.

    Uh…didn’t he/she start you on some sort of treatment with a BP of 145/100 (I assume it was sustained, not a one-time occurrence)? Normal BP is less than 120/80; 120/80-139/89 is “prehypertension” and is usually managed nonmedically. However, for the most part, a BP of 140/90 or higher is typically treated with medication in addition to lifestyle changes. So if you went from pretty significant hypertension to a normotensive state by ditching academia, that’s a very serious indictment of academia (and perhaps there might be something someone could patent as antihypertensive therapy!).

  2. mclaren says

    Absence of colleagues?
    Or students…?
    KG replies: No, no. The students I find soothing.

  3. says

    In addition to Dr. Toub’s sage advice, I recommend you stay out of the stores.
    They are just putting out the “back-to-school” stuff now…
    KG replies: Hey, as long as I’m on sabbatical, I love seeing evidence that others are teaching.

  4. says

    Working with annoying people = stress.
    Academic life = 12-hour work-weeks, 3-month vacations, tenure, retirement, health insurance – and a paid year off from time to time for sabbatical.
    I guess the best way to cope with it is by writing more stressful music.

  5. Terri says

    apparently knitting does wonders for blood pressure. just thought i’d throw that out, since you’re aware of my craft addiction.