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Power

Power to the paleontologists! Seriously, even though you won't have somebody breathing down your neck 24/7, you still can't run wild on your employer's budget. Yes, you'll decide how to structure your research projects, and either perform that research yourself or have an assistant do the hard work for you. Unfortunately, you don't have any power over the research results. You could spend months hacking away at a promising fossil deposit, only to be disappointed by fossilized dust where your subject's bones should have been. You could also have your funding frozen pending a departmental budget review just a few months down the line.

In the classroom, you could work your posterior to the bone to deliver stimulating lectures to your undergrad students. You could throw in your oddest field experiences, "strange-but-true" fossil stories, and other long-winded spiels designed to evoke the "fascinating class" the course description promised. Unfortunately, your students don't buy it. Some of them tend to nod off after a too-late night with the video games, and others are more focused on texting their friends or significant others about plans for the weekend. In other words, you're completely powerless to mold that roomful of mush-filled young heads into literate students. You do, however, have the power to reward them with an extra research paper for their inattention, and you exercise that power with no misgivings at all.













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