And This Is My Dream Job?

By Mackenzie Louise*

Teacher crushes are such a cliché, they’re pretty uninteresting and passé. You wouldn’t think the English department of my small, Christian liberal arts college would nurture such clichés, but I guess Christians are known to relish in the taboo. Something about forbidden fruit.

I was disenchanted as a young grad with my otherwise honorable department. Four months out of college and back in town for a conference, I found myself talking to my (male) mentor and another (male) student about the department’s most recent hire: a young woman, intelligent, insightful, and personable. We were all excited about her arrival to campus, even I who would never take a class with her. I met her during her campus interview the semester before, and I had enjoyed talking to her; I could tell that she would challenge students and engage them personally. I was, frankly, jealous that I’d never be under her tutelage.

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Make Healthy Your Standard of Beauty [Sara's Post on Elite Daily]

From time to time, we all feel like we need to do something to make ourselves look beautiful. And sometimes, we take it too far, where it may be considered beautiful, but is also compromising our health.

Can we all join together and realize that what's good for our health should be the real standard of beauty? Read my latest post on Elite Daily with my sentiments on society's standards of beauty here:

If you like what you read, share the article with someone who you think is healthily beautiful.

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Am I the Reason Chivalry is Dead?

My bosses sister told me never to date a man that doesn't tell me I'm beautiful everyday. While that sounds lovely, I find it somewhat antiquated advice. If some guy seriously told me I was beautiful everyday, I would probably think he was covering something up or only in it for my looks. My natural inclination would be to be skeptical, which made me wonder if skepticism is the reason that chivalry is dead. In people's version of Prince Charming, the guy is supposed to do all sorts of nice things when they court a lady, and I have realized that when guys actually do those things for me, I respond in all sorts of bizarre ways. For example, when I was climbing out of a high bus, the guy reached his hand back to me to help me down and I decided to grab onto the door handle and let myself down clumsily without touching his hand. Why? Because in my head it seemed less weird and showed that I can climb out of the bus on my own.

This need to prove that I don't need a male hand isn't just an isolated occurrence, I do it somewhat subconsciously all the time. I was carrying in boxes to be mailed and refused the help of a guy who was going to get me a dolly so that I wouldn't have to lug in four boxes weighing approximately 30 pounds each. Nope, I just scurried back and forth before he had time to help.

When a guy offers to pay for my meal, I have a weird internal complex about what it all means and what is expected from me. I lose my sense of self and typically waste the rest of the day trying to figure out their intentions rather than enjoying it.

Don't even get me started on the car door issue. Getting into a car makes sense to let the guy open the door, but a guy once asked me why I rushed out of the car before he could open it. Maybe because I am fully capable of opening my own car door and don't want to wait for you to stroll over to my side to let me out like a child? What am I supposed to do while I'm waiting? The radio is already off. I'll just end up sitting there wondering why I still haven't opened my own door yet.

My hang ups on chivalrous acts are never hidden well either. I make it so awkward that I am positive they will never try it again, which is somewhat nice but a bit disappointing. Even though I can open my own door and pay my own way, maybe it would be nice to let a guy do it for me without creating a scene.

So maybe it's my self-empowerment that killed chivalry and not males failing to reach societal expectations. Or maybe males have failed so many of the previous expectations that chivalry is literally a foreign concept to my generation, and I have no comprehension of what's supposed to happen, so I treat it all with a just amount of skepticism.

Chivalry might be dead, but we still don't know who killed it.

On Being Sorry

I apologize if this opinion piece offends you. Wait, no I don't. I have a right to have opinions, and people have a right to disagree with them, so why do I always apologize for expressing myself? Often at work I know something relevant and do not share with my boss for fear she will disagree, or when I correct her, I apologize. Why? Why should I apologize for having expertise and wanting to help the situation? Do I really need to apologize for being right or having a different but equally important opinion?

I apologize in arguments all the time to make them end, especially in relationships I care about most. Even when I know I am right or giving in, I'll just apologize to make the conflict go away.

I never considered the implications of my over-apologizes until I talked with my slightly older project manager. When you are apologizing, you are admitting a level of guilt. Why do I- and some other women in work- admit guilt in situations just to spare people's emotions? My coworker and I had an insightful dialogue about it, and in the end I realized I need to stop apologizing.

I have opinions and thoughts and do not need to be sorry about it. Just because I am young does not mean my authority in my field is not adequate. Even when I am wrong, I shouldn't have to feel bad about it because people are wrong all the time. As long as I can balance between enforcing my authority and considering people's feelings, I should be able to make a contribution without apologies.

So go out there and have creative differences and work to the best possible outcome in a respectfully unapologetic fashion.