Post Academic


Being Thankful for Academics Who Aren’t Assholes

Posted in Housekeeping,Surviving Grad School by Caroline Roberts on November 25, 2010
Tags: , ,

PhotobucketIf you’ve been reading Post Academic lately, you might justifiably believe that I think academics are either straight-up assholes or, to borrow the colorful language of Melissa Rivers on the “Celebrity Apprentice,” “whore pit-vipers.” That is not true. I made some of my closest friends in academia, and I had excellent advisors. Assholes just stand out because, according to Bob Sutton, interactions with assholes are five times more powerful than interactions with nice people.

Assholes know the extent of their power, which is why they do what they do. Why not undercut that power by giving a Thanksgiving shoutout to the nice people in academia?

I’m happy to start. I am thankful to all my grad student friends who checked up on me when I was sick, which was most of grad school. I am thankful for my friends who subbed for me at the SAT academy when I had to leave town. I am thankful for the advisors and friends who attended a certain weekly lunch meeting at UCI. And I am most thankful for everyone who stayed positive and didn’t let workplace gossip get to them.

More after the jump! Image of a Thanksgiving dinner by Alcinoe from Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

I am also thankful for the advisors who returned my emails and showed up for office appointments. I am thankful for the same advisors who were willing to admit that it was tough getting an academic gig and that success isn’t all about merit. A little luck as something to do with it, too.

I am thankful for the students who worked hard and stayed engaged in class. This applies to both my students at UCI and the students at the SAT/PSAT academy where I worked. While I encountered plenty of slackers, I had some students who had clear goals and who were willing to put in the work to improve their skills. These good students taught me about persistence and focus.

What about you, dear readers? Any comment you leave that praises a nice academic or a good student matters. Your words will keep the assholes at bay.

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