appreciation · boast post · you're awesome

Boast Post?

In my post last Friday, I celebrated 50 posts and a new community here at Hook and Eye. Earlier in the month, I told other people how awesome I am. In October, I “gave it up” (as the kids say, meaning, I think, “applauded”) for my students, in a tryptophanic fit of thanksgiving.

It was easy to brag about my students, and not that hard to whoop it up for Hook and Eye‘s little milestone, but it was very very hard, as I noted at the time, to boast about myself.

I think we need to boast a little bit more, generally, as women in the academy. Why not start here? What would you think about a regular–maybe monthly?–“Boast Post” feature where we could applaud one another’s accomplishments? The trick would be this: you have to nominate your own accomplishments. That’s the hardest part, I think, so I’m willing to let you boast about yourself anonymously if that’s what you need to do in order to get the words out. We can compile them into an omnibus of fabulousness, glorying in our own accomplishments, together.

It’s easy to complain. Hell, there’s usually no shortage of legitimate stuff to complain about. But there’s a lot of good out there, too. Why not bask in some sunshine? Or, if you want to make a self-improvement project out of it, consider this an exercise in overcoming what I imagine to be a pretty widely-shared collective aversion to self-promotion.

Own it, sister.

Why don’t you try it out in the comments? Or if you’re not ready to boast, let us know if you think it might be a neat monthly feature. If you’d like to submit a boast ‘anonymously,’ you can send it to our email, at

I’ll start: I just handed in the final revision on an article that has been accepted for publication. I’m proud of how the paper turned out: I worked really hard on it, and really pushed my research and my thinking. It’s going to be published in the coming weeks. Woohoo!

Now, you …

13 thoughts on “Boast Post?

  1. Okay, I'll do it. But I just had an interesting conversation with my partner about the cultural specificity of boasting. In the UK, it's seen as unseemly (for both genders). That's probably true of other places too. And yet, I agree that in the North American context at least, women should celebrate their successes because if we don't, other women won't.

    So I will provide one:

    Two people (one Canadian, one not) wrote to me this week to thank me for editing an essay collection in my field because they said that my introduction was very helpful. It's really gratifying to get feedback like that.


  2. Oh, I like this. I would love to see it as a regular feature.

    This month I got the results back from my faculty review, receiving an excellent on all three areas of teaching, research, and service. It's great to know that my work is being recognized, and that I'm on the right track in the tenure process.


  3. This would be a great regular feature.

    I'm no longer in academia but I work in the sector. Last week, I gave a careers talk to graduate students. At the end of the talk one student came up and thanked me “That was exactly what I needed to hear” and the following day I received an e-mail saying that my talk had enabled one student to forget his worries and “swim in the sea of optimism” for a while.

    I was pretty proud of that.


  4. Can I play? Despite feeling uncomfortable with it; as per Dr. Identity's post, I've always thought it would be 'unseemly'! (What a great word.)

    I was asked to write the epilogue for a collection, based on the impression I made at a conference last summer. The collection isn't close to my comfort zone in terms of subject matter, yet I was asked, say the editors, because they were so impressed by my ability to see big patterns and make connections.

    I hugged that one to myself all day.


  5. I am a female professor, a full professor I might add, and for me boasting is a hobby. Obviously I am awesome and here is why: I have a ripped upper body. I can do wide grip chin ups and about 80 push ups–full push ups I might add. I consider these accomplishments just as impressive as publishing books and articles, which I also do on a regular basis. Check out my awesome blog: p.s. Snap.


  6. Great idea to bring some positive elements into this community! Though I do find a lot of interesting discussions on here, sometimes it does make things appear overly grim.

    I TA a first year music history course and I just did two days of voluntary extra help sessions focusing on how to deal with a university level music course. I had a total of 17 students attending the two sessions, which is quite impressive for a class of 45. They were engaged, answering my questions, giving comments and laughing at my geeky jokes. They were probably the best tutorials I've ever done.


  7. I don't work in academia, but I've been self-employed for about a dozen years as a freelance writer. It's absolutely necessary to toot one's own horn in this game. There are few full-timers out there; even fewer are women. But I got here by being smart, creative, and ON DEADLINE. I've gotten guff from certain male colleagues for not deserving my success; that is simply bullshit and jealousy. I hustled my ass for it, and if some whiny boy isn't willing to be GOOD and RELIABLE at the same time, well boo-frickin'-hoo.

    This past week: 6 articles in 3 days, while balancing two other ongoing contracts. BOOYA!


  8. A student who is working on a PhD on Rural Education tracked me down to thank me for my blog post on the subject. I got a research grant (even though I am off the tenure track) from my university. And, I think I scored another book contract.

    Thanks for encouraging us to share and toot our own horns!


  9. I just finished presenting a project for my Art 399 class on abjection. The art piece idea that I approached my other group members with was so well recieved and well done (thanks to my other group members ;D) that our instructor told us afterwards that we should be submitting it to film festivals and galleries. Then my group told me that they were so happy I was in their group becuase they couldn't have dealt with Julia Kristeva the way I had.

    I feel smart…and thats nice sometimes.


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