Today, I confronted what is sure to be one of the most difficult aspects of my new job as a tenure-track assistant prof: throwing down to the powers that be when it’s really, really necessary. Only a few weeks prior to my official start date, I had to deal with a less-than-optimal situation at TT University. Nothing awful, but handling it gave me a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I wasn’t rude, or even a hard-ass; I just simply refused to give myself an escape route for backing down. It was hard… and it worked like a charm.
I was raised in the South, sometimes being told to never back down, other times expected to let my inner *Southern Belle* shine. Standing up for myself, especially to people with whom I’m not very familiar, can be incredibly challenging. I always want to provide myself an out, qualifying my demands so as to not bother others or hurt feelings. A little knocking of heads never hurt anyone, though, especially not those in the upper echelons of academia.
Keeping my Southern Belle alter-ego in check is going to be hard, but I have to if I’m going to make this career work. And now I know I can do it. Go me 🙂