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May 17, 2010


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DO YOU HAVE A HYPOTHESIS? Wow. The mind boggles. How dare he? Ugh ugh ugh.

WHY do people have to do that? WHY? Here's hoping he's talking at the same time you are.

So, I think we all know now because he didn't get tenure, don't we? ;-)

Seriously now, this whole discussion of what would be the Christian thing to do versus what we actually need to do to survive in an academic environment is really important. I think it will become a topic that K and I will have to discuss at length over the years now that he's going to become a tt professor. Good thing we will be able to interact with you too about it!

Yeah, see, I think that Jesus had a lot of good things to say about how you conduct yourself in the world, and one of the things he said was, if they don't hear your message, shake the dust off your feet and move on. And I hear you doing the verbal equivalent of dust-shaking when you stand up for yourself, there.

I bet the disciples fantasized all sorts of not-Jesus comebacks as they were heading out of town, too, and it's just too bad that they weren't bloggers, leaving us with no record of those probably somewhat witty but completely unBiblical rejoinders.

That's the next Facebook/Twitter project, isn't it. Status updates from the 12 disciples, at least for the first couple of years of Jesus' ministry. Hmmm.....

I'm not a Christian, but I do know Jesus had his fair share of hecklers. I think the Gospels present him, generally, as challenging the premises of their questions, and sometimes doing so with more than a little edge -- e.g., Mark 12:18-25. I think the answer to "Whom would Jesus frost?" is probably "Anybody who wasn't asking in good faith." And I find it impossible to believe that this guy was asking in good faith.

Maybe you're called on to extirpate pride, but I imagine you're also called on to stand up for truth and not let people belittle the search for it.

Fwiw, "cryptoflappable" is my favorite thing I have read this...month. Year. I am just adoring you right now

I have never done anything remotely as academically strenuous as a research project like yours, and I was immediately shocked that he asked whether you had a hypothesis. Really! Very very rude. I'm so sorry.

It isn't pride to know your true place and to defend yourself and to defend the truth. It isn't humility to let people use you as a doormat.

I think temperance is the answer.

I just read this (in an unrelated blog post about modesty in breastfeeding) and it seemed apropos: "arguing with temperance avoids the extremes of timid deference nor belligerence".

I don't think you were being belligerent by any stretch of the imagination. He clearly was; but you were not.

It seems to me that comments such as his really put him in a bad light, and not you. Let him hang himself.

Poor man must be feeling terribly insecure =)

Another question you might ask yourself is "what would a man do in this situation?" I don't know how the workplace dynamic in academia is, but in my gov't engineering org the men often ask demeaning questions, and they aren't making it personal.

He may be trying to diminish a rising colleague who threatens his area of expertise or his authority. It has nothing to do with YOU, Jamie, just YOU, a smart graduate with a lot of energy and years ahead to develop a really good career.

If he asks you another insulting question, blow him away with your technical expertise. Get as detailed as you think you can - regardless of who else is in the audience. State your position firmly and with lasers boring through him.

And then go have a cup of coffee with him. But not his wife, because she'll be talking behind your back no matter what. But he won't.

This is my first visit to your blog and I have spent an hour looking through it. Thank you -- I feel right at home. We are a Catholic family, academics (my husband just completed his doctorate), and I'm passionate about breastfeeding -- the "Breastfeeding Makes Us Stupid" post brought me here. Thank you for such a lovely blog!

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