Ms. Mentor's New and Ever More Impeccable Advice for Women and Men in Academia

Ms. Mentor's New and Ever More Impeccable Advice for Women and Men in Academia

Ms. Mentor's New and Ever More Impeccable Advice for Women and Men in Academia

Ms. Mentor's New and Ever More Impeccable Advice for Women and Men in Academia

Synopsis

Ms. Mentor, that uniquely brilliant and irascible intellectual, is your all-knowing guide through the jungle that is academia today. In the last decade Ms. Mentor's mailbox has been filled to overflowing with thousands of plaintive epistles, rants, and gossipy screeds. A mere fraction has appeared in her celebrated monthly online and print Q&A columns for the Chronicle of Higher Education; her readers' colorful and rebellious ripostes have gone unpublished--until now.

Hearing the call for a follow-up to the wildly successful Ms. Mentor's Impeccable Advice for Women in Academia, Ms. Mentor now broadens her counsel to include academics of the male variety. Ms. Mentor knows all about foraging for jobs, about graduate school stars and serfs, and about mentors and underminers, backbiters and whiners. She answers burning questions: Am I too old, too working class, too perfect, too blonde? When should I reproduce? When do I speak up, laugh, and spill the secrets I've gathered? Do I really have to erase my own blackboard? Does academic sex have to be reptilian?

From the ivory tower that affords her an unparalleled view of the academic landscape, Ms. Mentor dispenses her perfect wisdom to the huddled masses of professorial newbies, hardbitten oldies, and anxious midcareerists. She gives etiquette lessons to academic couples and the tough-talking low-down on adjunct positions. She tells you what to wear, how to make yourself popular, and how to decode academic language.

She introduces you to characters you must know: Professor Pelvic, Dr. Iron Fist, Mr. Upstart Whelp, Dean Titan, Professor McShameless.

In this volume Ms. Mentor once again shares her wide-ranging unexpurgated wisdom, giving tips on bizarre writing rituals, tenure diaries, and time management (Exploding Head Syndrome). She decodes department meetings and teaches you the tricks for getting stellar teaching evaluations.

Raw, shocking, precise, clever, absurd--Ms. Mentor has it all.

Excerpt

The fledglings of academe floundered and whimpered. They panted. They trembled. They were sure there was some homework assignment they’d failed to turn in.

They knew not why they had made enemies, nor how they had been sentenced to meetings that seemed to be nothing but peacocking and frothing. They wanted to respect their elders, but often found them ponderous, mysterious, or inane. They wanted their students’ respect, not “I wasn’t in class. Had to go skiing. Did I miss anything?”

Among themselves, newbies would marvel, sigh, and moan. And sometimes weep.

And then Ms. Mentor arose to rescue them from their backwardness and confusion. From her ivory tower, she would dispense her impeccable wisdom to the huddled masses. Eyes would be opened, ears would be cleaned, and careers salvaged.

Ms. Mentor began with ladylike unobtrusiveness, with a tiny 1992 advice column for Concerns, the newsletter for the Women’s Caucus for the Modern Languages. From the beginning she dwelled in her ivory tower, from which she channeled her perfect wisdom through Emily Toth (rhymes with both), professor at Louisiana State University. They are not the same person, for Ms. Mentor is much taller, has a deeper voice, and is a heavy metal fanatic.

An early column with a controversial stance on fashion (“frumpy sells better than chic”) led to a guest appearance in Vogue and then to a 1997 tome, Ms. Mentor’s Impeccable Advice for Women in Academia. Then Ms. Mentor infiltrated the Internet, when her monthly “Ms. Mentor” col-

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