David Lester proudly informs us all that he feels no stress whatsoever, despite his 12-hr. teaching load and his magnificent scholarly accomplishments. Of course, he's completely withdrawn from the life of the college itself, something which is not even remotely an option for many people at liberal arts colleges (one of whom is the immediate target of his condescension), but we won't let that get in the way. He's quite right: academia is not as stressful as working in a coal mine. But he's confusing what you might call "objective" stress levels with "subjective" ones. Objectively, faculty at the University of Chicago face less work-related stress than someone at my campus (more money, fewer hours). I, in turn, face less stress than many faculty in the CSU system (more hours, less money). All t-t faculty probably face a lot less stress than your average VAP, who in turn is not quite so stressed as the average freeway flier. And none of us encounters anything like the stress characterizing the life of a migrant farm worker. In subjective terms, however, none of this matters. My stress rarely goes away just because I know that adjuncts have a harder time of it than I do. It's quite natural that we not sympathize with the trials and travails of Those Who Seem Luckier Than We Are--my sympathy for stressed-out faculty at Research Is tends to be relatively minimal--but that doesn't make their pains and anxieties any less experientially real. It's not as though my psyche qualifies as some objective measure of Right Stress and Wrong Stress, for crying out loud.