Monday, August 12, 2013

A kind of mentorship

-My new poodle chew-toys are fabulous. Purchased for the admittedly less-than-fabulous reason of, the previous ones similar to this, bought several years prior, had disintegrated. But nevertheless. 

-By tomorrow I need to have decided between Cory Booker and Rush Holt, both of whom seem like reasonable people. Does anyone have strong feelings about this? Tepid ones? I've Googled a bit, but mostly, I've learned that Booker is a celebrity and a Rhodes Scholar (and the one who's going to win), while Rush Holt "IS a rocket scientist," as the bumper stickers attest. (I'm in rocket scientist country - half the cars have them.) An astrophysicist with a PhD from NYU! In the case of a tie, this will stand in his entirely subjective favor. Or, that he's apparently the furthest to the left, and I've become a hippie in my old age. 

I also need to have sorted out how to get to the polling station, which is like three blocks away, but not blocks, because this is the rural suburbs. Without a GPS, this looks like one wrong turn away from ending up in Pennsylvania. (A lovely state, but not one where you can vote for NJ senators.) It's the perfect distance away for a jog, however, which is far more compatible with stopping periodically to check directions. This is not about having a bad sense of direction. It's sport

-I am at long last reading Lean In, not just about it. I've reached the part where Sandberg discusses having been "mentored" by a woman who was one of my high school classmates. Somehow - and nothing against this classmate - this passage detracts from this book's ability to inspire me personally. Reading that passage was like some kind of crushing high-school-reunion nightmare. I haven't done nothing in my 30 years on this planet, but I most certainly haven't made a billion dollars in tech, nor have I mentored Sheryl friggin' Sandberg. I've... taught my poodle how to walk on her hind legs on command. It's a kind of mentorship.


Miss Self-Important said...

I'm always surprised when I have students (note: not mentees, or whatever they're called, just class students) who behave toward me as though I know something, or have wisdom that could be conveyed to them. In such instances, I think, "No peeps, I am only a grad student and also a MORON. Please address all serious questions to a real professor." But I also remember thinking that my own grad student instructors were VERY WISE when I was an undergrad, and I still think I was right about that, so the idea that even now, in your own late-caterpillar stage, you're actually qualified to offer advice and example to younger caterpillars is just a strange bit of perspectival reality to digest.

Not that this means your high school classmate is VERY WISE, but just that you're probably doing ok with respect to advising humans in addition to dogs.

Petey said...

"Or, that he's apparently the furthest to the left, and I've become a hippie in my old age."

Vote Holt!

And not just cuz Holt is a good guy. Booker is an actively bad guy. Democratic states should get Democratic federal representatives, not post-partisan-schtick, heavily corrupt defenders of the rentier class.

(It's not that you are becoming a hippie. It's just that the influence of Shelly Adelson and U of C is receding as time goes by.)

Petey said...

Susie Madrak has a decent Anybody But Cory Booker post up.

She doesn't focus enough on economic issues for my personal taste, but she links at the end to a Digby piece that is a bit more economically focussed.

Phoebe said...


You've called my self-deprecating bluff. I have indeed taught undergrads, and some % of the many I've taught may well have felt mentored by me.


Finally, advice on an election I can actually vote in! And it conveniently matches up with the conclusions I'd come to from subsequent Googling of candidates-and-issues.

David Schraub said...

Rush Holt is also a Carl, which gives him a subjective boost in my (and all right thinking people's) eyes.