Things I’m Tired Of: An almost-year-end list

  1. People in higher education gatekeeping by deciding that certain groups aren’t “really” under-represented and/or under-privileged and then needing people to show their suffering before wanting to help them.
  2. Colleagues failing to properly support and mentor junior faculty of color. Did you think that hiring a non-white person into your department was going to mean that they were going to teach just like you but with browner skin and more ‘authenticity’?
  3. People thinking that sexism must be over because there’s X% of women in our field now. THIS ONE IS SO FUNNY.
  4. Tenured, tenure-track, or long-term-contract academics relentlessly complaining about their jobs*
  5. The fact that there are 5 projects listen up on my office white board with little check boxes next to them to keep track of their progress towards publication and I’ve added (checks board)…one check this semester. LOLSOB.*
  6. Academics complaining that it isn’t their job to go our of their way to teach ‘bad’ students, and that they will only work closely with ‘good’ students. 🤯
  7. Institutions doing nothing to properly support minoritized faculty who do the bulk of student mentoring and often end up sacrificing their own mental health in the process.
  8. The fact that NO MATTER how clearly I think I write my assignments, students always seem to find a way to mis-interpret them**
  9. The fact that #MeTooSTEM is a thing. I wish we lived in a world where it wasn’t a thing. It’s a thing. It *should* be a thing. I’m *glad* it’s a thing. I just wish…you know.
  10. My college’s faculty locker-room. Look, I know #4 but seriously y’all, it’s GROSS.

 

*Everyone has a right to complain. I do it (I’m doing it rn people). What kills me are people with REALLY CUSHY jobs winging about crap all day and night. Get over it. You NEVER have to worry about where your health insurance comes from, or for that matter, your printer paper, your free coffee, your ‘book award’. So just stop, it’s embarrassing.

** I want to make clear I am not (I hope) ‘punching down’ here re: my students but complaining about the difficulty of clearly communicating to 50 people with different brains than mine.

 

3 thoughts on “Things I’m Tired Of: An almost-year-end list

  1. “Colleagues failing to properly support and mentor junior faculty of color. Did you think that hiring a non-white person into your department was going to mean that they were going to teach just like you but with browner skin and more ‘authenticity’?”

    Yes. Yes they did.

    Or at least, that’s what they were hoping for – a nice brown face to ‘prove’ that they are ‘doing their part’ for diversity without actually having to do any work.

    • Thanks for writing this. If you have a moment, would you be able to e.g. link to any longer explanation or discussion of point (2) that you like?

      My guess is that I’m close to your target, so to give a literal-minded answer to the question: when I’ve been part of hiring discussions, I haven’t heard a lot of discussion of teaching practices (or for that matter administrative work) at all. Thinking about this a bit more generally, though, profs in my faculty seem to work fairly independently. The only explicit mentorship I received when I showed up was a key to my office and a 10-page booklet telling me things like where the printer was & how to hire students; the expectation is that one figures out the rest, with the understanding that different people can run their groups very differently as long as they do the explicitly-assigned administrative work that keeps the department running. I’ve definitely benefited from various mentor-like relationships, but they’ve come out of research – none of the people I’ve considered mentors have been at my university.

      That was a bit of a long way of saying: I don’t really have a sense as to how I would provide meaningful mentorship within my faculty, and I would like to do better if I’ve been failing.

  2. I’m new and this is the first entry I randomly selected to read. We have these discussions around the dinner table all the time! But just because it is universal, doesn’t mean it is t frustrating. Thank you for not only educating but growing people.

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