“In my second year on the tenure-track as an English professor at a state university in Texas, I was advised to think about my plans for university and community service to be ready for my tenure bid in four years. On my self-evaluation form that year, I stated that I planned to initiate a National Organization for Women student chapter the following year. A few days later, my department chair stopped by my office to scold me. He said, “About your plans for a NOW chapter … we don’t need any of that nonsense here in West Texas.” I was too stunned to say anything, and he left after giving me a stern look. A year later, his wife told me at a departmental party that his two daughters used to complain about his old-fashioned ideas about women’s equality, but she then said that, essentially, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” I suppose she meant to express sympathy with me, but also meant to warn me not to cross him about the NOW issue.”

More here.

About Ray Watkins

I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. I grew up in Houston, as a part of what we only half-jokingly call the Cajun Diaspora. At a certain point during the Regan administration, I had to leave, so I served in the Peace Corps, Philippines, from 1987-89. I didn't want to return to the United States just yet, so I moved to Paris, France, where I lived for three years or so. I then moved back to Austin, Texas, where I had received my Masters Degree, and (eventually) began a Ph.D., which I completed in 1999. I spent a year at Temple University and then accepted a position at Eastern Illinois University where I worked until May of 2006. I now work exclusively on line (although that may change) for Johns Hopkins, the Art Institute Online, and I can be reached most easily via email: raywatkins [that 'at' symbol]

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