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Sunday, October 14, 2007

They Don't Teach You...

I think the hardest part of the transition between being a graduate student and being a professor is the autonomy that the switch provides. As a graduate student (and indeed in all of the positions that I have held thus far in my working life), there has always been the requirement of asking permission. You ask permission to write about a certain topic. You ask for permission to teach a class and then are required to submit syllabi for approval and to constantly check in to make sure that you are "doing it correctly." While in graduate school you spend all of your time defending your beliefs, asserting your theories and all the while asking for permission to have them!

I find myself still seeking the permission of those around me. I have not been able to accept, thus far, that I am a colleague, a peer, of those around me. I keep expecting to have to justify my actions and my choices and am constantly surprised when no one asks for my "excuses."

I'm sure over time it will go away, as I myself become more confident in the decisions I am making. I don't know that there is any way that they can teach this change in perspectives while still in school... but I sure wish they had!


dad said...

Ah yes. I remember the transition from Joe "it's cool but maybe you should check this thing over here again" Sexton to John "MY GOD!! HOW COULD YOU BE SOOOO STUPID!?!?!"
Domogolla. The first two "senior" engineers that I worked with :-)

Don't worry your "John" will come along and surprise the heck out of you.

Mom said...

The costumns will be fine.
Love, MOM

Jamie said...

I am with mom2, the costumes will be great!

As for your comment, I understand. I get really freaked out when I am told "Just send the letter, I don't want to see it." On the other hand, I have about 15 different bosses, all who want something different. Yeah me.

Stephanie said...

Hey Jenna - I'm going through the EXACT same thing right now! It's hard to learn to trust yourself with no justification after you ahve had to give it for so long. And yet, it is freeing too :-)