With support like that, who needs enemies?

Posted: January 9, 2015 by jennysaul in Uncategorized

I went to grad. school for philosophy in the 90s, as an older, returning to school woman. That was even worse. Male colleagues explicitly excluded me from study groups, claiming that I would hold them back! (They had no way to know this.) Other students refused to work or study with me. I was given the least desirable assisting assignments that conflicted with the courses I came to the school to study, and my main professor/advisor behaved inappropriately on multiple levels.

When I asked my advisor what my secondary field should be, for positioning myself on the job market, he said it didn’t matter — I wouldn’t be able to get a job, anyway. With support like that, who needs enemies?

I kept thinking if I worked harder, I could overcome all of it. Only now, many years later, do I see that there was really nothing I could have done, alone, to “out-work” the situation. It was unbearably hostile and obnoxious. Thankfully, I have been out of there for years, and don’t treat my students like this. Sadly, my career is nowhere near where I would have liked it to be.

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