I’m concerned for your academic career if you talk about this publicly

So important! Also awful: those times when I have been an auntie and the advice was not taken.

Erica Violet Lee

What truths would be written if academics weren’t afraid of losing their jobs?

What truths would be written if you followed through, in practice, the type of sovereignty and decolonization you theorize in journals?

All the times I’ve heard some version of “I’m concerned about your academic career if you talk about this publicly”: that’s not concern for me.

I knew about the systems, I knew the stories about these men. We all do. We all do, because academic aunties gossip. And academic auntie gossip saves lives.

But still, I irrationally believed I was safe, or somehow exempt.

Even after, in second year, that time I got out of that ethics professor’s car, downtown, at night, in the middle of winter, and walked home rather than sit beside him after he joked that his seats recline all the way, if I was interested.

Even after, in third year, that time your fave scholar put his 50-something-year-old…

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The Stumbly Presentation, the Lost Word, and the Brain Caesura.

“It takes a certain amount of humility in order to be taught.” a mostly verbatim quote from a teacher I respect.  The meaning that I construe from this quote is that the student understands that they don’t know everything and is willing to take in new things or things at odds with what they have always thought were right. So….long pause…sigh…(squirm) I don’t know things. I am learning new things. My writing is getting better. But I don’t know as much as the student sitting next to me. How do I remain honest to the humility concept and yet cope with the desire to compare myself to that student, who may or may not subscribe to the humility?

This has been a rough week.  Projects due, papers to write, a job, a family- all mine to juggle. It’s no wonder that feelings of irrelevance, invisibility and envy creep in.  But what do you do with those nasty squids that tentacle your thoughts and make you go dark places, cold places?

Addendum: An article appeared, as if by magic, from the highly regarded Dr. Stephanie Vanderslice:  http://www.careercontessa.com/advice/get-over-impostor-syndrome/            Check it out!  She shared some wee bits of advice with this forlorn first year grad student. I am thankful to have mentors.  Hug your mentors, if appropriate. Otherwise, let your humility smile on and say thank you.




Dang it! What have I done?

I’ve been wracking my brain as to what this blog is about.  It is not about food or more specifically, it is not about soup. (Despite the name.)  I’ve even struggled with whether or not to use my real name. I thought Morgan L. Jimothy sounded more alluring, more masculine. But what if I wanted to name a new pet that? So I went with what I was born with, Liz Larson. At least it is honest-to-goodness true and the alliteration tarts it up a bit.

So what is this blog about? Writing, creativity, story telling, a little art, a smidge of photography, and a whole lot of trial and error.

I’ve learned how much I don’t know this past year in graduate school. I’ve gained the acquaintanceship of some pretty incredible people that I am supposed to refer to as “cohort.” They are truly the ones who give me confidence to attempt things I am uncomfortable with and tell me that it still will all be alright. We are supposed to make mistakes. My intrepid poetry professor, Sandy Longhorn, says that to me all the time. (Hey, you try to manifest a sestina or a ghazal.)

So here I go, warts and all into the breach!