Boast Post!

You might be surprised to know that one of our top ten all-time posts here at Hook & Eye is the original Boast Post, from November of 2010. In fact, it pretty steadily makes the top five list on a weekly basis. More than a hundred people have clicked through to it in the last week. I’m a little mystified, but reminded that we had thought at the time of making it a monthly feature.


To be honest with you, I wanted to write a post today complaining about some one damn thing or another. I’m overworked. Late on stuff. Stuck in a stupid budget sequester airline snafu and flying in the middle of the night. Grading. Meetings. Glasses don’t fit right. Tree falling down. Blah, blah, blah. This morning, my husband told me my hair looked nice and I responded with, “Yeah, until we get outside and the rain and wind wrecks it all.”

Man, I’m a negative Nellie lately. Well, I can’t change the world, only how I react to it. So I’m going to react more positively. Starting with a boast post, and I hope you will join me in boasting in your turn.

Remember how it works: you have to boast about yourself, without apologizing or cringing. Did you get some awesome teaching evals? Submit an article? Finish a dissertation chapter? Give an awesome conference presentation? Get an unexpected but meaningful compliment? Tell the world! Or at least, that chunk of the world that reads this blog.

I’ve got two things!

First, I got the highest possible merit score for my service to the university this year. I’m really super proud! I did feel like I did an awful lot of service work, and some of it well, even, and it really means a lot to me to have that effort/accomplishment recognized. It was the highest score I’d got on anything in nine years here, and it floored me.

Second, I was at a conference in North Carolina this past weekend, and at the first coffee break, a lovely woman walked up to introduce herself to me. She said, “Hello! You’re famous in my department! We all read your blog!” and then she mentioned one particular post she quite liked! Hello there, Katja from UBC! You made my whole day! And your paper on Theresa Spence and the genre of the “hunger strike” was fascinating and timely.

OMG, it was really really hard to just write those down. I want to go back and cut one out (too boastful!) or sneak in some self-deprecation to undermine myself (find the stealth deprecation above and win a prize!). So I know you don’t want to do it either. But do it! I’ll totally applaud you, and you’ll get a spring in your step!

24 thoughts on “Boast Post!

  1. Okay, my turn! You're right, this does feel weird. But kinda' good too. And first off, go Aimee–you rock!

    1) I spent this year researching for and writing a big report on graduate student professional development and career services (especially in terms of transitioning to alt-ac/post-ac jobs) for the Faculty of Graduate Studies at my university. The Deans loved it, and I'll be meeting with all of the graduate program directors in a few weeks to present the report, answer questions, and start planning how to offer more support to grad students.

    2) A friend and I recently got the go-ahead to start seriously planning and putting together a big new online publication about graduate students and alt-ac, with the hopes that our first articles will be out in the fall.


  2. I had a crazy productive term! I moved to Kitchener. I submitted two articles and one book chapter for review, and have another article almost ready to submit mid-May. I had a blog post on Hook and Eye get more than 1300 views. I started a business. My partner and I bought our first house!!!


  3. Melissa! GREAT WORK! A real accomplishment for you, and it's very important work too! I'd love to read your report, actually … and I think I know someone in North Carolina who might like to read it, too!

    Danielle! Holy cow you've been busy! So much writing! And a house! And I wanted to tell you that I thought that post last week was FANTASTIC! I've been sending as many people to look at it as I can.



  4. Every year I think “This has been the busiest year of my career, but next year will be easier because it couldn't possibly get more busy than this”, yet every year it does. I'm not normally a boaster, but I feel good saying that this year I submitted my book manuscript and got a contract from a major UP, wrote and sent two articles I was solicited to write for book volumes (the second just three months after the first), held a visiting professorship in Europe where I did 8 hours of different lectures in 3 weeks, won an internal grant, and finally made progress on my DH project. I'm so excited it's only two weeks until summer “break”!


  5. Thanks, ladies! I'll let you know when my report is ready for circulation, but in the meantime, you should read Marilyn Rose's “Graduate Student Professional Development: A Survey with Recommendations,” which she wrote for SSHRC/CAGS. It's online.

    And Danielle–congrats to you too! Your business sounds fascinating. I'd love to chat about it some time.


  6. I love these great pieces of good news! It is so easy that this time of the year to get down on yourself (especially if you're on Twitter and seeing everyone announce that they got TT jobs/promotions/new and better jobs/etc). But, we have to remember all that we have accomplished this past semester/year.

    Although I've known for weeks, I was officially announced as one of the member of the 2014 President's Leadership Academy at our university. It's a pretty big deal, and I am the first instructor ever selected to be a part of the program. So, yay!


  7. What wonderful news, Lee! Well deserved no matter what your institutional positioning, but even more of a feather in your cap to do it from a position of precarious or liminal appointment. Your star shines brightly! WELL DONE! HOORAY!


  8. Wow, the instinct towards self-deprecation is strong. But I'm so inspired and impressed by other people's reports here that it makes it easier. A couple of things stand out for me as accomplishments in the last few weeks.

    First, I gave a presentation for our graduate students' professional development seminar a while ago(on academic blogging and writing for non-academics) and have now heard from several people that it was the highlight of the year's sessions. Hooray!

    Second, I finished up a book review I've been working on all month. I thought and thought about it (because the book has been reviewed all over the place) and tried something I thought was kind of cool but a bit risky with the structure of my review — and this week I shared it with my co-editors and they all *love* it, which is such a great feeling.


  9. What awesome accomplishments, Aimée, Melissa, Lee, Danielle, Pantagruelle, and Rohan. You sound positively superhuman. What a sweet description of my coffee-break ambush, Aimée. Thanks for that–now *you* have made my day.


  10. Wow, it is so great to read what you've all accomplished and it is so inspiring to read women be open and unapologetic! Fantastic!!!

    I guess I'll weigh in, too, perhaps:
    1) I maintained an A+ average my first term of doctoral studies
    2) I now have 5 accepted publications (for 4/5 I'm second author of two but they are in highly ranked peer-reviewed journals and written with someone I really really admire and respect)
    3) I got to write a “grown up” grant proposal for the Australian Research Council with Kirsty Best, Katie Ellis, and Mike Kent. I'm still floored by the opportunity. And I'm listed as lead research assistant in Canada . . . maybe they will be awarded the grant (I hope–and their idea is amazing!!!) and then I'd get to work on the project (which, again, is amazing!)
    4) I was accepted to present at the Northeast Modern Language Association, the American Comparative Literature Association, the Canadian Game Studies Association, the International Gothic Association, and the International Auto/Biography Association
    5) I was approached by an acquisitions editor at an established academic trade press about the possibility (in the future) of turning my not-yet-started dissertation into a book-length project. I should follow up on that again . . .
    6) I earned an A+ in a course outside of my comfort zone (and a high A+ on the final paper)
    7) I earned an A+ on another course paper but it isn't the final one so we shall see how that goes . . .
    8) I'm still sort of sane! 😛 And yes, that is an accomplishment :p


  11. Melissa, both of your items are fantastic! You are really bringing attention to some important issues for graduate students and the trajectory of academe. Thank you for that!


  12. That is amazing!!! Congratulations! Yeah I've been advised to hold out for a good university press once the time comes, but I'm still happy to know that my research is at least interesting. And wow. . . solicited articles. . . that is fantastic! Just wow to everything! Where in Europe did you lecture?!


  13. Congratulations 🙂 It must be a relief to have the book review done! And I am really interested in issues regarding graduate student professional development–kudos to you for doing your part 🙂 Great topic too 😉


  14. Oh. . . Professor Morrison. . .I found the stealth self-deprecation. That little line about how you did some of that service work well, even ;p What's my prize? ;)I kid, I kid. I hear amazing things about your service work at the university, so I'm sure you do all of it well (but have high standards). Thank you so much for everything you do for the department and the university! And thanks for this blog!


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