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Anatomy of Academic Advice
Episode 824th November 2021 • Academic Aunties • Ethel Tungohan
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Oh advice. It seems like you can’t turn a corner without someone telling you how you’re professor-ing or grad schooling wrong. Sometimes it’s a colleague. Sometimes it’s a random person on social media. Sometimes it’s sought for, but usually it’s unsolicited. 

On this episode, we’re breaking down academic advice. What makes for good advice? And why is bad advice...so bad? And why is it that so much academic advice assumes that we’re all cis, het, white guys? Joining us to talk about good academic advice, bad academic advice, shadow advising, and the expectations of "academic mommy" and "academic daddy" are Dr. Shanti Fernando (@ShantiFernando), Associate Professor of Political Science at Ontario Tech University, and Dr. Sule Tomkinson (@sule_tomkinson), Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science at Université Laval and Director of Le Centre d’analyse des politiques publiques.

Get in touch with Academic Aunties on Twitter at @AcademicAuntie or by e-mail at podcast@academicaunties.com. Need some auntie wisdom? Send an #AskAnAcademicAuntie question to academicaunties.com/ask.

Related Links

Promoting the value of unofficial academic mentorship

(https://www.natureindex.com/news-blog/promoting-the-value-of-unofficial-shadow-academic-mentorship)

Common pieces of academic advice from listeners

(https://twitter.com/AcademicAuntie/status/1461027530819911680)



This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Podsights - https://podsights.com/privacy

Transcripts

(Automatically generated)

Ethel Tungohan 0:05

I'm Dr. Ethel Tungohan an Asociate professor of politics at York University. Welcome to Academic Aunties. Oh, advice. It seems like you can't turn a corner without someone telling you how you're professoring or grad school-ing wrong. Sometimes it's a colleague. Sometimes it's a random person on social media. Sometimes it's sought for, but usually it's unsolicited. On this episode, we're breaking down academic advice. What makes for good advice? And why is bad advice so bad? And why is it that so much academic advice assumes that we're all sis head white guys to talk about academic advice? I'm very pleased to have Dr. Shanti Fernando. That is Shanti Auntie for you. And Dr. Sule Tomkinson. That's Sule Teze. Shanti Auntie, Sule Teze thanks so much for being here today. How about we start by introducing yourselves?

Shanti Fernando 1:07

Hi, I'm Shanti Fernando I'm at in the Political Science program at Ontario Tech University in Oshawa. And yeah, do some migrant research, which is how I got to know Ethel. Yeah, and associate professor. So a little bit, sort of into my career. Looking forward to looking back a little bit today.

Sule Tomkinson 1:32

So I'm Sule Tomkinson and I'm an associate professor at the Department of Political Science at the University Laval in Quebec City. I'm extremely excited to be here with you today.

Ethel Tungohan 1:41

I guess one of my first questions is, what is the role of advice in academia,

Shanti Fernando 1:47

I think, to me, the role of advice should be should be mentorship. But also, that you should give advice when it's solicited, not unsolicited advice, because giving all sorts of unsolicited advice, like maybe people don't want you to and then you feel almost like you're being policed a little bit. So I think good advice is also recognizing the person that you're talking to their positionality. So giving it specific to them, not this some sort of universal advice. And that you're you are actually being kind and trying to help them.

Sule Tomkinson 2:27

I find that advice is especially comes when people offer it as if it is universal without recognizing their own privileges. When we give advice, it comes from our own experience, right. But it does not mean that it is going to be valid for everyone. I mean, the other day, I shared an example of bad advice, like this professor in a prestigious university was telling graduate students that they should be giving reasonable explanations, if they are asked to review articles, if they're asked to do peer review. Otherwise, it is unimaginable because they never did so. Right. I mean, why would graduate students who do not even know if they will work in a university or not should feel the need to justify themselves? Why should they undertake this free labor? For what reason?

Ethel Tungohan 3:25

Absolutely. You know, what, I'm trying to find that actually, because it was so appalling, like, you know, it was basically so I can't find the tweet, but it was basically this, you know, economist at an Ivy League institution, who was chastising, I guess, graduate students, for just rejecting review invitations. And basically saying, you can't reject an invitation without giving a reason for why and they're telling this to graduate students, right? Like who, you know, have to balance so many things in order to finish their dissertations, who probably have to TA, who also, you know, shouldn't have to take on this LIBOR when their goal should be to get through the program. Shanti auntie, have you had bad advice given to you that actually has been harmful?

Shanti Fernando 4:20

I think, as a, as a junior faculty, I was sort of told, Oh, well, you know, you need to do a lot of service, which, you know, you shouldn't really be doing tons of service when you're doing but I did a lot of services that junior faculty did, because somehow it was going to teach me something it was going to, you know, get me very involved in my faculty and it just made me very tired and didn't have to do other things. And it didn't really help me and, you know, I'm good at service but it's not like, you know, it's not a big value added for me and then I wasn't actually And then I went, I came up for tenure. You know, they're basically saying like, Oh, you did too much service, and of course, the dean, and, you know, I had been told to do lots of service, and then they're just like, Well, you did too much service. You know. So it's it. That was definitely bad. If I said also, that came back to bite me. And actually, I was also told not to apply for shark grants. Because it was too hard. And to just use existing datasets, and I'm just like, what existing datasets what I like I don't, what am I using? So then I did apply for sharks. I did get a few sharks before I, I got tenure. And it was mentioned to me by senior faculty, and that saying, Oh, you shouldn't you know, oh, you ignored that advice. You shouldn't have ignored that advice. So I was being kind of penalized for getting SSHRCs.

Ethel Tungohan 5:55

So for our listeners, SSHRC stands for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, which, for people in the social sciences in Canada, it's our main source of funding. You know what, this is actually making me a little bit upset, but also making me kind of reach another epiphany, which is that sometimes people who give you advice, don't have your interests at heart.

Shanti Fernando 6:19

They did not. I only found out afterwards that it was somebody who hadn't themselves gotten grants. So they were I guess, you know, didn't want me to be and then was mad, because then I got grants. And I went against their advice. So yes, I was kind of you know, but it was horrible.

Sule Tomkinson 6:36

Actually, someone reached out to me, after we publicized like what bad and good advice you received by the former student. And which made me think, like, actually, not no advice, in some situations is as bad as bad advice. So this situation she explained to me was like, it was like screaming into the void, the way they were trying to communicate with their advisor, from trying to get feedback to have to do certain things, and just receiving no feedback at all, or just being left to their own devices.

Ethel Tungohan 7:11

This is a perfect segue, actually, to one thing we were talking about, which is that, you know, a lot of women of color, a lot of people of color have been, you know, taken, taking up the role as as Shadow advisors, right, because of the lack of support given to students as a junior faculty. A lot of people of color, women of color have become the default advice givers.

Sule Tomkinson 7:37

I have observed that in my own institution I have and I've heard from other colleagues, let's say a senior, often male professor accepts a student to supervise a student. And then when they notice, actually, that student needs quite a bit of support, they just decide to not supervise the student anymore. Either. They either ghost them, right, oh, they clearly say to the student, that I'm not going to supervise you find yourself someone else. And, and most of the time, I mean, I personally, sometimes find myself overwhelmed with trying to help these students, right. And then you say to yourself, but I mean, oh, no, I had, I had scheduled these two hours to write I was not going to actually meet students, but then you are like, but no, one of my roles, one of my most important roles that I gave to myself is actually help students who are unrepresented right? Who are deserving, but who cannot find themselves in, in the academia because they are not getting the support they actually deserve. So it is a constant struggle for for people who are also underrepresented as faculty.

Ethel Tungohan 8:52

100%. Yeah, no, I think one of the things that I've noticed is that a lot of students and honestly teaching, I mean, I'm not saying this to be corny, right. I'm teaching at my institution has given me the greatest joy, right? I didn't expect that this would be the case. Because I've taught in other institutions, predominantly white institutions where I've had students actually tell me because I'm Filipina that I remind them of their nannies, right? Like that's through ta which I don't even I can't really unpack that right now. But I find it at my current institution, which predominantly has immigrant students, first generation students, I find that I'm making a lot of connections with students. That's the greatest joy. What that means, though, is because I'm one of the few faculty of color in my department. A lot of the students who are majority people of color, look at me for support. And oftentimes, I'm happy to give that support, but it's also emotionally draining because through their stories, you you understand how knocked up the Academy can be right. You realize how it's just so it can be so heartless, so students who have have to take care of their, their siblings while their parents are working essential jobs during COVID. Right. And they're trying really hard to get on top of schoolwork, but then they're kind of managing all of this. Um, you know, we'll also still applying to trying to apply to grad school, but because of their pressures, their grades may not be as high, right? I don't know, I just feel like it's it's tough. And I understand why people of color, as faculty members are relied on for support. But I'm also exhausted, I don't know if Shanti Auntie has had the same experiences

Shanti Fernando:

I have. And it's, it's strange, not just, you know, my racialized students, it's other students too, because they're more likely to come to me than, you know, a male professor, right? Like, you know, academic Mommy has to be like, you know, nice mommy, who takes care of you. And academic Daddy has to, you know, well, he's tough and he's strong and well, you know, with just he has those standards. But like, Mommy, why aren't you helping me, mommy, I get I get the I get the that. And I really tried to unmute myself a little bit, not to be, you know, I certainly help students, and even now I have students who contact me. But to try to make sure that, you know, I also send people to counseling, or I send people to advising or I send people to support like other things. So that it's not all on me,

Ethel Tungohan:

and so conflicted on this, right, like, you want to be a good support person. For students, you want to be a good professor for students. But on the other hand, the expectations that are foisted on you, as a woman of color is disproportionately bigger and harder to meet compared to your male colleagues.

Sule Tomkinson:

I was so mad. Two years ago, I was co teaching this course with two male colleagues, one much less Jr, who was still a PhD student and other colleague from a different department who was senior students would come to me with their problems, and we are teaching the class together. I mean, we are co teaching, we are at the coop position. Why are you coming to me? And so when I shared that with some other students, my graduate students, they were like, well, because you are nice. You are a caring person. I'm like, Yeah, sure. I know, I am. But I don't want to be constantly. I don't want to be the person who's shouldering the burden all the time, right?

Ethel Tungohan:

No, yeah.

Sule Tomkinson:

So do I start? Yeah, do I do I have a solution? Not necessarily. But I spoke to my colleagues and I said, you have to tell the students that if they have a problem, they should be writing to you as well. If they are going to write to me, to me, they have to be putting you in CC as well. And we were going to divide the task of responding to student emails and supporting them weekly. I don't mind that is fine. But I cannot I cannot do the old or cannot do all the work.

Ethel Tungohan:

And how did that turn out? Like, take your colleague, like help out? Like, was that good solution? They

Sule Tomkinson:

were okay. They were okay with that, then it's worked for that term. But again, we mean, whenever the whenever we are, I'm the single woman, it repeats itself again. Yeah.

Ethel Tungohan:

I have such a conflictual kind of. I don't know. Like, I don't know, I'm conflicted on this. Right. Because on the one hand, you know, I go back to Shanti Auntie's kind of comment, you know, the advice is to be a man, right? And to protect our time, I guess we could just kind of be bad mommy. And be like, I don't I don't give a shit about your stories. You know, I am here to teach, right? I am here to lecture. You know, Oh, who cares, right? But that doesn't square with kind of my pedagogical approach and who I am as a person, but on the other hand, then we're kind of overloaded with work, right? So the advice be a man doesn't quite work in that way. But how do we then protect her time knowing that, you know, the time we're spending with emotional labor? Could be time we could be spending on writing and researching?

Sule Tomkinson:

Exactly, exactly. But then I think of some of my my male colleagues, I would not go for it. I would not go to them for advice. I mean, not socially awkward, I do not want to be on the same table with them. I be

Ethel Tungohan:

No, I mean, you know what? That's true. Like, yeah, no, I mean, we could name names. Like I really don't it'll take advice from, you know, awkward sis head white guy, they're like, you know, no point taken. I do want to kind of spend a little bit of time since we did have social media posts about this. So we're gonna try this first time in academic aunties where we're going to play a game. And so I am opening this document, which lists some of the pieces of advice that people have shared with us on social media. So folks who just are listeners, check out an academic anti to see some of these tweets. And we're going to I'm just going to name some of the pieces of advice given and I'm going to ask our beloved Auntie's here. Is this good advice? Or is this bad advice? All right. So example, number one. Be careful about speaking out before you have tenure. Good advice, or bad advice.

Sule Tomkinson:

Bad advice. Bad advice. Bad advice. Why? Well, if you waited, you are not going to talk after either. If you have seen something if you've seen something bad, and you, you said to yourself, oh, no, I should not because it is going to impact my No, no, if you're unhappy. I mean, no, you should speak your mind. You're a colleague.

Ethel Tungohan:

Absolutely. I mean, Shanti. Auntie, what do you think? Good advice, advice.

Shanti Fernando:

It's bad advice. Because all the people I know who said nothing before tenure, also say nothing after tenure.

Ethel Tungohan:

Another another thing that I saw, and I wanted to get feedback on is this, go where the jobs are, if you're not willing to move to a remote location for an academic job, don't bother bad advice or good advice.

Shanti Fernando:

Don't bother what don't bother being an academic. Is that what they meant? I guess.

Ethel Tungohan:

So. It's like, you know, if you don't apply for everything, then you're not serious about being an academic.

Shanti Fernando:

That depends on on on people's also positionality. So I think it's bad advice. Because you don't know. I mean, I have moved places for jobs. But I mean, you know, I think you have to think of do people have partners? Do they have ill? Parents? Like, what do they have? You know, they can't just, you can't just tell people, Oh, you just have to have a mobile life. That's not, that's not being very understanding of people's positionality.

Sule Tomkinson:

Not at all. I mean, sure, you can say you cannot expect a position to open at the university that you desire in your own city. Sure. You can say that, because who knows? Right? But be ready to go wherever. Yeah, I don't agree with that.

Ethel Tungohan:

So I think we're saying probably bad advice from our perspectives, given our positionality He's, um, okay, so another one that I had highlighted. is the following. Um, just say, No, say no, say no.

Shanti Fernando:

Yeah, it's, it's, it's, the thing is, it's, it's very vague, because I'm always people are always saying that just say, No, I mean, what does that even mean? But I am certainly saying no to more things that I I did before. But I think, just say no, might be too broad. Maybe just say, be more choosy about what you know, and and take up, take some things into account before, don't immediately more like don't immediately say yes, that's better, then then say, then say, just say no, but don't immediately say yes to everything. Because sometimes, especially as junior faculty, you're like, Oh, yes, of course. Yeah. Okay. Yeah, I can be on that committee. Oh, I can do that thing for you. Whoa, I could do that review. Oh, I can help with that. Which was me. So just I'm just doing an impression of myself. It was easy. But, like, think about it first. Don't don't give an automatic. Yes. Think about, you know, do you have time? Do you have you know, is this something important? You know, so so it's more than don't automatically say yes, but just saying no, I mean, you can't say no to everything.

Sule Tomkinson:

Exactly. What I started doing is like when people ask me to do things, either sitting in a committee or taking part in research project, it's like what is the topic am I am I interested in this topic? Like do I want to contribute? And then like the target, what is the objective like, there are many committees where we are not actually sure what what the committee is trying to achieve right? And then so the task What am I supposed to do? What will be my contribution to this? And do I want to do it? Am I willing to do it? And then finally the time like, how long is this going to take? Is it just an ad hoc meeting and then it is going to be done or will this require a regular slot? On My Own my agenda for a long time, and then only afterwards if it is all I'm happy with all these answers, and I'm like, okay, I can say yes. But as I deshante said, it took me two years to get to that I was ready to say yes, yes, yes. Then I was about to go through a burnout. Then I said, No, I cannot. I cannot.

Ethel Tungohan:

Absolutely. And if you say yes to everything, then what if an invitation that is actually meaningful? Come see you when you can't say yes to it? Because you've said no, you've said yes to everything else. Right. So second to the last one, you should try to get a supervisor who is a big name in the field. Their letters are important. No headaches, headaches? No. Why?

Sule Tomkinson:

No, definitely not. I mean, I have seen some star supervisors star profs, advising their students really well. But that doesn't mean it is the case. I mean, again, we are universalizing. Right. What did we say do not universalize? Do not do diverse allies? If I mean, try to learn what kind of person they are, speak to their former students, for example, a bit? Are they? Do they give them opportunities? How do they feel working with this person? What do they former students do? So it doesn't do supervisor doesn't have to be a star?

Shanti Fernando:

I mean, they could be a star. But that shouldn't be your main criteria? I think it's are they? Do they have a good rep with working with students? Are they a nice person? Are they sort of a kind nice person? I know that there have been some sort of big stars who were just yet terrible to their students. So it's like is that a nice person is that somebody who's going to give you their time. And also somebody you just sort of click with a little bit, you know, so you know, meeting with them. So I think their personality and if they're, they're sort of good to students, I think is more important than if they're a big names because a big name can be can also give you zero help. Exactly. They might be they might give you up, but maybe they don't give you anything.

Sule Tomkinson:

I know, I liked I like that big name better, because I am the kind of I'm the person who always rolls her eyes. When we talk about the star, what is the star? That star is always a white man, for some reason, I feel

Ethel Tungohan:

like academia has this hero worship tendency where it's like, come on, you know, let's, you know, we all shit at night, right? Or I don't know what the expression is. Like, we're all human beings. It's what I'm trying to say. Right? Like, let's not venerate people as gods, because then we kind of become less aware of other people doing meaningful work. Great. Here's the final one. And I actually will see what you think we should not sacrifice at all, just to stay in academia. And academia is not the gold standard. Yes,

Sule Tomkinson:

great advice. Great advice. I mean, it is a job. Sure it is. There are many things that I love about my job. I love spending time with my students in the classroom, I love discussing with them, I love having certain kind of autonomy, but it's a job. There are many other jobs that can make you happy, where you can you can realize your value and get paid well.

Shanti Fernando:

And it's not for everyone, right? I mean, I have certain colleagues who were always like, you know, go to grad school, go to grad school, go to grad school to every single, you know, undergrad student, I give lots of different and I just say, well, here's some things you could do. Yeah, grad school is an option. Sure. But academic, you know, so I don't even sort of try to make undergrads go into grad school. And certainly, even when I was a PhD student, there are a lot of times where I thought, I'm not gonna do this. I'm not. And even after my first job, I was thinking, Yeah, I might leave. It isn't the be all and end all. It can be great. I mean, I like my job. But it also, you know, it's, it's hard. It's hard. And there are all there's there are other lives.

Ethel Tungohan:

I love that. I mean, I think it's a job. And also, you know, I think a lot of folks who leave academia feel so guilty as well, because they feel like we have been indoctrinating everyone to think that academia is not a job, it's actually a calling, right. So we have to relinquish everything or time, our health for this profession, this calling, and I think that's fostered a lot of really unhealthy behavior.

Sule Tomkinson:

Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, it's like, like Alex, Ashanti, was giving the example of people trying to encourage students to do graduate studies. I have been observing it a lot too. It's like, okay, come on, come on. We want students to come in and then what do we do for these students? How do we support them? How do we support them? We Don't we don't do enough, then what is the point of bringing bring these students in?

Ethel Tungohan:

Absolutely. And I honestly think and I think this actually merits another episode. It is our job to be honest, especially to our graduate students about the prospects of an academic career, right? Not to say that you want to discourage people from pursuing that, but to be honest about, you know, the job market and prospects and you know, things that people have to account for. Exactly.

What are some of the worst advice that you've gotten some of the best advice? So let's start with worst advice.

Sule Tomkinson:

Choose a topic that is clearly political science, otherwise, people will not know where to place you.

Ethel Tungohan:

And why is that bad advice?

Sule Tomkinson:

Because choose a topic that has value to you choose a topic that you want to pursue that you want to work on? And several years otherwise by? No, you will not let others to choose something for you. Just because they said so that that is a that created debate for the last few years. I don't care if I don't want to work on it. What is the point?

Ethel Tungohan:

I think that's that's a such amazing insight on your part, because I think a lot of students feel that they have to choose a topic that's hot, right? In fact, some journals, I was going to I went to a workshop where there were there was this journal editor for a big, big, big name journal, and they have this hot list and not hot list of topics and hot methods and not hot nothing. And as someone who was like in the not hot list, it's kind of like Vogue magazine, right? I'm like, what, like, what is this? Not hot bell bottoms, hot hoodies, like, come on man. Shanti anti worst advice you've ever gotten?

Shanti Fernando:

Don't to turn your PhD into a book. Turn it into articles. Why not? And I don't even know how, like, how do you make it into articles? Like I don't even know what articles I'm going to get out of my PhD. And I turned it into a book UBC press called race in the city. And it was I think, I'm very proud of it. I got a lot of praise for it. It was a very good book. But yeah, there were lots of people, people who were at that time, the senior people in my first job who said, No, you can't You shouldn't do that, again, unsolicited. And I said, No, I'm gonna do it. And, and, you know, it turned out very well. But I don't understand like, why. And also, they said this to me, when I actually got like UBC offered me like, came to me, I didn't even go to that. She came to me, because they wanted Asian Canadian for their Asian Canadian Studies. And, like, why would I not do that? Like, it doesn't even make any sense. So it's terrible advice.

Ethel Tungohan:

That's awful. I'll share one of the worst pieces of advice that I've received as well. And in this in this is in the context of like preparing for jobs and for your job talk, right? Maybe basically the advice is, you know, diminish your femininity, right? And so we tried talking with a lower register, because like, okay, see, I'm seeing likes now but but because you wanted to have you know, you want it to sound more authoritative, right? Like put on a power suit. Just kind of, you know, just just be a man you know, just just like wear the suit. Talk deeper. You know, just kind of perform in a way that we've kind of stereotype like male sis head white male professors is doing. And and that just didn't work because I don't I don't talk like that. Like I use hand gestures. I'm excited about the research. I've been told that I get too excited about my research. And just like, what I love, we research my research is fantastic.

Shanti Fernando:

I was told this actually at a job interview on it was a terrible job interview that I was on the seven in the interview. Oh god I've had such this is gonna be another episode all this shitty things you've heard during interviews. And once anything was this guy said, You'll never get a job with a voice like that. Well,

Ethel Tungohan:

when I'm in shock weed what? This was someone interviewing you?

Shanti Fernando:

Yeah, when you know when you're having like, you're sort of like friendly time, coffee time with the people. They're like, Oh, you're never going to a job with a voice like that. Which I don't even know what that? I don't even know. But it was also I didn't I have also been asked in interviews, what my parents did, what my religion was. Yeah, so you can get some crazy things happening to you at interviews.

Ethel Tungohan:

I'm so sorry. That's awful. Okay, but let's pivot to the best advice you've received Best advice.

Shanti Fernando:

My My best advice like teaching advice was because I was very nervous. I was a very nervous public speaker and the first time I Ever sort of was going to give actually at a conference, a big conference presentation during my PhD, and I carried this then into my actual teaching. I phoned my mom who and I was like, Robbie, I know what it is gonna be terrible, like, give a leave, I have to get away. And so she said, Okay, just do your speech for me, do your lecture, whatever. And I sort of started to do my talk. And she said, Well, that, you know, just, you're a very, you are a nervous public speaker, you know that. But this is your work. I mean, you can get up and have a conversation. So cuz you're a nervous speaker, but you're actually not a nervous person in a social situation. So just treat it like a conversation. That's awesome. How about you?

Sule Tomkinson:

I would say two things. One is related to that, which I apply to my teaching and say to everyone as well. This nervousness that comes with the model, the classical model, we have that the sage on the stage that that teaches Yes, authoritative person. So when I go into my classroom, doesn't matter. They can be undergrad, they can be PhD students. Like I'm not the sage on the stage, I'm facilitators, we are going to learn together. There are things that I know more than you there are other things that you know more than me, we're going to learn together, that's and the students behavior, the body language, everything changes, and everything works much better. And the other thing is, I mean, not necessarily, like know, your limits, sure, you want to help in different areas, it can be your colleagues, it can be your students. But don't try to do everything I mean, you cannot you cannot shoulder the burden of the world, the burden of academia. So choose wisely. Choose things that have value to again comes to this meaningfulness choose things that have value to you, I sometimes

Ethel Tungohan:

hear from from listeners being like, how do you deal with your value? Do you is it just do you use your gut then anti slave with like, how do you know?

Sule Tomkinson:

I mean, the guts and where you feel happiest? I guess. I mean.

Shanti Fernando:

Yeah, I think it takes a while to develop though, I think I only probably really started develop it much more recently. And it's also doing your own work, you know, doing like really looking inside yourself for for, you know, what's important in your life. What gives your life meaning? Because it's a very, it's a hard job. You know, we're we're doing a hard job. I like what I do, but it's hard. So if I'm going to work this hard, it should be on something meaningful to me. As Ethel was, Ethel was talking about being a people pleaser. I think I what I used to value what's making other people happy? Yes. So now I'm trying to make myself happy. And that's about the meaningfulness. So I think now I'm trying to value when I think the work I do will help people, as well. So I think that's, that's also what's what's the value to me now? And yeah, not not actually just trying to make other people happy.

Ethel Tungohan:

You know what I mean? We're laughing but it's hard, right? Because then it's actually really revolutionary to prioritize our needs and what makes us happy because we're so indoctrinated into trying to, to please other people. And it seems as though both of you are seeing maybe take some time to reflect and think about what's real.

Shanti Fernando:

And I would say that, again, the probably the best. Again, the second piece of best advice I got was to also just not care so much what other people thought about you.

Ethel Tungohan:

I've taken up so much of your time, both of you. Before we end, would both of you like to share your Twitter handle so folks listening can keep up with stuff that you're thinking.

Shanti Fernando:

I'm on Twitter, at ShantiFernando, so not a particularly exciting handle. Just my name Shanti Fernando.

Ethel Tungohan:

And Sule Teze do you have Twitter?

Unknown Speaker:

Yes, I have Twitter, please. Let's connect. It's my name as well. And if you start typing on Google, S-u-l-e and then T, going to be the first person who is coming up.

Ethel Tungohan:

Thank you so much. This was really great. Academic advice, while well intentioned, oftentimes does not take into account the specificities of people's individual circumstances. Such advice can also sometimes uphold academia's unjust power structures. Ultimately, it's up to you to decide whether to follow the advice that you've been given. Advice is like a buffet. You take what you want and leave the rest behind. Go with your gut. And that's academic Auntie's for this month. As always, we are so thankful for the kind notes you sent us. It's really heartwarming to know that this podcast is resonating with you And we would love even more people to listen, so please spread the word. Please tweet at us or about us share our podcasts on Facebook. We'd also love to hear from you. You can reach us at academic Auntie on Twitter, and academic Auntie's dot com. Today's episode of academic Auntie's was hosted by me, Dr. Ethel Tungohan and produced by myself and Wayne Chu. Tune in next time when we talk to more Academic Aunties. Until then, take care. Be kind to yourself, and don't be an asshole.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai