Upgrade Anxiety and the Aging Expert

By definition university professors are experts in their fields. Given the laws of the universe, however, professors are also aging experts. Not experts on aging, but, rather, humans who are aging. As Yeats wrote in his poem on getting older, Sailing to Byzantium, we are all “fastened to a dying animal.”

Growing older increases knowledge and experience while—one hopes—gaining wisdom. Few faculty members would willingly return to their graduate student days defending dissertations and preparing for job interviews.

Nevertheless, with