Women Bosses and Sharks
Mary Ann Sesma
msesma at zeus.bell.k12.ca.us
Thu Jul 9 08:35:49 EST 1998
Dear Women in Bio--Just another view from the bridge--I cannot get through
this thread without sardonic humour--this discussion is like deja view.
I had hoped to distroy these images but this hit hard. Maybe some of this
info will help others, I hope so.
This task of an educator making her first presentation to a faculty
closely equates to being an assistant prof making an initial
presentation in front of far more senior faculty members , highly
experienced , knowledgeable , and definitely a tight hierarchy. My
first school faculty (on general principles) wanted to "take down the
principal" and and leave the corpse to be hauled away by kind and pious
nuns. I learned ASAP and assumed the "shark" behavior. Finally I became
the PRINCIPAL which is as close as I can come to the PI.
Eleven years as a shark. Age 49 -60 from start to finish. . The
outcome--a reasonably well run schools with a faculty that had learned that
I could not be "messed with" and also reasonable. Utter physical and mental
exhaustion at age 60. There were no surveying instruments, no CD road map
and no Sacajewa. I carved out my own map and made my own vision with only
one friend (my husband, a co professional) and NO mentor. I had to
convince others to buy in to this vision. Most of then did. The
exhaustion, as assessed in later years, was worth it. I could not
internalize that concept immediatly. Now, I look back and say : it was
the test, I succeeded as defined by my own goals.--but how I bled (at home
privately) " There has to be a better way. If you want to talk
creativity, ingenuity and productivity- I judge these eleven years as some
of my best.
Having witnessed breakdowns of faculty under penetrating scrutiny and
vicious confrontations by upper level adms, etc. (not by me), seeing
their emotions takeover-that particular pain is devestating and hideous, a
defacement of self esteem. Yes, I was subjected at earlier point by
another adm with this defacement. of self esteem. It took a long time to
get over it.
I personally use major bulwarks against pain-- PREPARATION , KNOWLEDGE,
the edge -- "intestinal fortitude" or " guts" --CONTROL, HUMOR and yes,
some VENGEANCE. (old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill) .
For me there was no option but success. No panic allowed. You deal
with this pain, you build your mental strength, you retire your public
emotions. and LEARN. When sharks decide to go on a feeding frenzy-- you
don't allow yourself to bleed--and sharks will surely come by!! You
keep that particular shark(s) in your memory bank and detail behavior--was
it an honest feeding frenzy or were you being attacked for the hal-i-but.
Shabu-Shabu and Talk, Talk.
Mary Ann Sesma e -mail
1621 Sunnyhill Drive msesma at bell.k12.ca.us (preferred)
Monterey Park, CA 91754 sesma at aol.com
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