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Giving Thanks for My Mentors

Giving Thanks for My Mentors (from The Chronicle of Higher Education)
Full turkeys

Image: Thanksgiving – taking home turkeys from raffle, 1912 (Bain Collection, Library of Congress)

Every year since completing my Ph.D., I’ve marked off a weekend or two of November for baking. I pick a seasonally appropriate cookie — something with spices, chocolate, maybe just the right amount of fruit — make them by the dozen, and pack them for shipment to friends and family across the country. (Chocolate-dipped shortbread survived Priority Mail pretty well. The almond Florentines? Not so much.) The list of recipients shifts every year, but I’ve always given priority to four names: the people who’ve agreed to provide letters of reference in support of my applications for faculty jobs.

It’s only a gesture, but I hope it’s an appropriate one — especially this year, when I’m calling on my letter-writers more than ever before. Read more…


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