Monthly Archives: August 2012

I told my advisor I’m leaving the academy.

I swear, I thought I saw a flicker of inspiration in her eyes.

She told me a story about her summer, about how her air conditioner broke, about how, even as a tenured professor, she can’t afford repair. So she’s “living in the reality,” as she calls it, no temporary credit card salvation this time, and while it’s been 113 degrees in this city for weeks, this tenured professor goes without AC.

“Forget the money,” she says; “there’s only two African American courses on the docket this year. They don’t care about me.”

At a recent family reunion, she recounted, the “under-educated” members of her family shared photographs of a cruise vacation while her children remained indoors, hovering around vents set to full blast.

There are moment in life in which you know you’re going to cry, know it weeks, months in advance. Moments like weddings, births, deaths: you expect the tears until you nearly script them, pre-ordain them, anticipate them into existence. I expected to cry when I told her I was leaving, and I did cry.

Tissue in hand, she told me, “Now we can just be friends.”