the agile academic

Sarah Rose Cavanagh on Writing, Self-Care, and Connection

March 02, 2021 Rebecca Pope-Ruark Season 1 Episode 6
Sarah Rose Cavanagh on Writing, Self-Care, and Connection
the agile academic
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the agile academic
Sarah Rose Cavanagh on Writing, Self-Care, and Connection
Mar 02, 2021 Season 1 Episode 6
Rebecca Pope-Ruark

I speak to Dr. Sarah Rose Cavanagh, associate professor of psychology and educational developer at Assumption University. We talk about writing books for academic and general audiences, women supporting women and taking care of your body, not just your mind.

Show Notes Transcript

I speak to Dr. Sarah Rose Cavanagh, associate professor of psychology and educational developer at Assumption University. We talk about writing books for academic and general audiences, women supporting women and taking care of your body, not just your mind.

Rebecca Pope-Ruark: On this episode of the agile academic podcast, I speak to Dr. Sarah Rose Cavanaugh, associate professor of psychology and educational developer. At Assumption University. We talk about writing books for academic and general audiences, women supporting women and taking care of your body, not just your mind.

Hello listeners. Welcome to the agile academic, a podcast for women in and around higher education and its first season. I talked with our special guests from all over academia, about a wide range of topics from teaching and research to writing and speaking to career by tally and burnout and everything in between. I'm your host, Dr. Rebecca Pope-Ruark.

Well, good morning, Sarah. Thank you so much for being with me today.

Sarah Rose Cavanaugh: Oh my pleasure. Thank you for this opportunity.

RPR: Yeah, we've really only chatted through Twitter, but I enjoy following along with your writing process then and your, your student work. Um, did you just want to tell the listeners a little bit about yourself? Sure.

SRC: So my name is Sarah Rose Cavanaugh, and I am an associate professor of psychology at Assumption University, which is a small liberal arts college and Massachusetts. I am also the associate director of the D’Amour Center for Teaching Excellence there. Uh, and my director is Jim Lang, which people may know from Twitter as well. And from his book projects. And this year I'm actually interim director because he has the advantage of being on sabbatical this wild academic year.

RPR: Yeah. He either lucked out or he's missing out.

SRC: Oh, I think he lucked out pretty sure.

RPR: One of the reasons I was excited to have you on the show is because of your prolific writing, especially writing books, which is something that I'm finding that I'm a writer of books. When I didn't really think about myself, is that for a long time. So what does it mean to you to be writing as a woman in academia?

SRC: Well, it's interesting. I think that, so the book writing was a shift for me and I still publish academic articles, but I publish fewer of those. And part of that whole journey has been what I enjoy the most because I'm finding that I really enjoy the freedom of talking to a wider audience than, uh, than the niche audience, you know, of specialists that you talk to and when you're writing academic papers. But part of that is also, I mentioned that I teach at a small liberal arts college and we have, uh, quite a heavy teaching load and we don't have graduate students. We don't have post-docs. And so I was finding it very difficult to run the sort of psychology research lab that I had worked in as an undergraduate and the graduate student and a post-doc and working as more of a synthesizer of knowledge, uh, which I feel like when you write essays and blogs and books, you're working more in that space, then producing new research, I found was also a better fit for the demands and resources of teaching at a small liberal arts college.

RPR: So how do you find time to fit your writing in? Cause that's definitely something that I'm struggling with now because I moved from a long period of time in a faculty role and having more control over my time into a center for teaching and learning, which is more of a regular schedule and finding the time to write my books, which I really want to be doing is a little bit of a challenge that I'm still trying to work out in my own writing practice.

SRC: Well, I have two things to say about that. One is a book recommendation and I'll send you the link for the show notes. And it's a book called how to write a lot by Paul Silva. I think it is. And we did an entire workshop for our own faculty through the center for teaching excellence on this book. Um, and he makes the points that you have to schedule it. You have to schedule writing time and then defend it with your life. And I find that that is true and I have a hard time fitting writing in, and that I tend to do what he calls binge writing and which is, you know, you catch up on winter break and spring break and over the summer. And, but I read that book, I ran a whole workshop on it and, but yet every semester writing falls by the wayside.

Um, but I am successfully scheduling writing right now in part, because I have this group of women and we do buy yearly, um, retreats and we do goal setting and all these things we've been doing it for almost 20 years and we have this, uh, goal-setting challenge with each other to get through the election. And so we each chose, yes. It's like something you can control. Right. Um, and so we each chose five, you know, their individual five daily goals and they have to be really bite-sized and achievable. And one of mine is write my book for 20 to 30 minutes. And, and because it's in this challenge and I have to do it, I find the time it's like right before dinner or right. I mean, my PJ's right at the end of the night, or, but if I think some kind of schedule goal setting, you have to make it concrete because if it's just this global diffuse, Oh, I should be writing it and everything else wants.

RPR: Yeah. And I always, I always kind of buck against those sheds right after, after my own burnout, because it's like maybe I want to do things and maybe I don't want to do things I replaced should with want to, what would that be? Something that I still want to do and not sweat. I'm kind of looking for it. And I love the accountability piece. I think that's something as I've been writing this book that I don't have enough of, I don't feel like I have enough folks who are looking at it right now. And is that a group that you put together in graduate school or

SRC: We, yes, I think it was, it was right at the start of graduate school that we put it together and my best friend and I, we read there was a real simple article that magazine about a group of women who did this and they rented a house for a weekend and one of them was a yoga instructor. So one of them did yoga lessons. One of them was a cook, you know, so they did all these different wellness sorts of things and we were inspired. And so we each invited two friends and one relative. And we started doing this when our early twenties and we've just kept on that whole time.

RPR: It must be powerful to have that kind of communication network and support network for that long.

SRC: It's amazing. And it also, I always feel like any challenge that comes up and like, Oh, I'll just figure that out at women weekend. Um, because I it's like you're not alone. Right?

RPR: Yeah. I have a back channel conversation in, um, Facebook with some graduate school friends. That's probably been going on for five or six years now and we just, you know, whatever problem we have, you know, we've been, we've been through everything we can complete, you can ask the bites, we can be vulnerable with each other. We've been through so many different career changes. You know, my burnout, a friend going into interim Dean positions and department chair positions, leaving the faculty specifically to kind of work in the technology sector at the institution. So we have some, all the, although our degrees are similar, we have some really nice kind of symmetry of different perspectives. So having that, knowing that those folks are there, or just, it's less writing and more kind of like the day-to-day kind of managing of your work and your, your emotions sheer work. Right. Powerful. I really appreciate them. And we all need to have something like that. Right. Or back channel. I think maybe the challenge is figuring out how to put that together.

RPR: Right. And I think there's also, I also have a writers group. And so that helps as well. I think having writing and I recommend that to anyone because especially when you meet regularly, then you owe the writing to someone. So I think that having those sorts of groups like your friends and my friends as emotional support and as, um, a base to touch is really important. But then specifically in terms of getting the writing done, having knowing, Oh, I have this writers group meeting and I have to send them something for them to read in that week or two before the meeting, the writing tends to ramp up. And I think it also helps to have an audience in mind beyond the people who will read my book when you're writing. So you can imagine your writing partners reading and what they're going to say. And I think that shapes the writing as well.

RPR: Yeah. I like that. I had a writing group for a long time at my previous institution and the move kind of shook that up a little bit. So I was having some internal struggles, figuring out how to replace that, but had a conversation with my coach, Katie Linder, and then with my editor at Hopkins. And they were just like, can you just have a buddy? And you just have one other person. So now I've got a couple of little buddies that I think with books, especially, I feel like I've been in my head for this, with this book for so long that I need people to kind of read it and make sure that I just filled in gaps that are there or in my books, really like a combination of kind of memoirs and stories and advice and research. So I actually asked one of my writing buddies to just check it and make sure that I'm not sharing too much about my story. What's what's therapy and what's, you know, narrative, and am I making you uncomfortable with this? Or does this make sense? Is that how you want to go for it?

SRC: Yeah. And I think that that's such a valuable thing that writers groups can do too. And has certain, you know, I wrote both of my books with the same writers group and also they can, when you're sharing your expertise and not everyone shares that expertise, you don't quite know if you're, you know, what level you're sharing it at. And, you know, a couple of times my two partners, they get come back. Like I've had no idea what you're talking about here. You have to, you have to bring it down a little bit. Um, and so it can also be helpful to hear that before, you know, the pages are in print.

RPR: Yeah, definitely my PhD is in writing. So, you know, I will preach those things to students and to other people. And then I know in theory that I shouldn't be able to do it by myself sometime. So, so we'll see how that goes. So you've published with both academic and popular presses, right. Can you speak about a little bit because I get asked that a lot, how to kind of get in with a professional press, as opposed to at university press, how did you decide one book was going to be academic and the other was the popular press?

SRC: So I wrote the academic book first and, uh, and that was for, you know, audience, an audience of teachers and people who care about teaching and the college experience. And that was my first step out of purely academic writing. And I found that I enjoyed it so much that I thought maybe let's just take another step, um, and, and write something that is for a very general audience and the process that, so I'll go back and forth between the process and the experience, um, was that I started reading up on advice, guides on how to publish with a popular press. And they all seem to pretty much universally to say that you can't do it without a literary agent. Uh, and then a literary agent that a lot of the larger popular presses, anyway, won't even talk to authors one-on-one and you have to go through a literary agent. So I got this book, uh, Get a Literary Agent was the title of it.

And I'll send you that link too. It was a small red book and I just followed the steps and, and, and I got a literary agent, although I didn't, I think that we connected, I think I connected with my academic press editor and asked him for recommendations. And he sent me to someone that I sent my proposal to, and he said, this isn't really in my wheelhouse, but I know someone who, um, might be a good fit and he sent it to her and that's how we connected. So it was actually through more of a networking channel that I ended up, but I did hear back from several of the literary agents that I contacted. Uh, and so, so I had talked to a couple of literary agents before signing with the one that I went with and, uh, Jessica Pepin, who she's wonderful. Um, and so that was the process.

And then we started shopping around the proposal. She helped me tweak it, uh, and we moved it around places and ended up at grand central. And in terms of the experience, um, my, so I'm writing a third book and the third book is not with an academic process with a beacon press, but I talked to a lot of academic presses along the way before going with beacon. And, um, and it was partly because I missed aspects of working with the academic press. Uh, I, I loved my editor at Grand Central and I loved that experience, but I, I missed being peer reviewed was one thing that I missed a lot. Um, and so was spark of learning. My first book went out to you, two peer reviewers, and I changed the whole thing. Like they had such wonderful contributions and really shaped how I, I, the, the end results.

And I missed that and I felt very vulnerable. Um, and my second book was also more sciency. And so it was popular science and, and I just felt like someone has to check this, like, what has happened? The things I'm saying are wrong. Like we get so used to like being checked and checked and checked. Um, and, and so I didn't like that feeling of vulnerability and I missed having the feedback, um, because, um, I'm not at a academic press for this third book. I won't be peer reviewed, but I think, um, I've learned from the experience that I want to finish the book a little bit early, which is always we'll see. And, um, and seek out friends, you know, offer them something, I don't know, take them out to dinner once we can get in restaurants again or something. And, um, to kind of like make my own peer review because I missed that aspect so much.

RPR: Yeah. I think that's really important that feedback that you get. I mean, we joke about Reviewer 2, but you know, on all of my books, I've gotten great feedback. I mean, some of it will look a little, my first book the editor said, or the reviewer said, this is all great, but chapter 9 is terrible. So I don't want to publish this book and I did, and it was published. So I appreciated the rest of the feedback. Sometimes you hear it. Yeah. Um, that you then have to kind of trust your gut on and get someone else to kind of play with it. Have you ever worked with like a developmental editor?

SRC: No, I don't think so. Wait, explain to me what that is. Yeah.

RPR: Um, so copy editors. Do you know the copy and the, um, making sure that it subscribes to the style, excuse me. And then developmental editors are there with the authors and a literary agent might do a lot of this work, like reading pages and offering suggestions for structure, um, and just kind of that general writing support and accountability for, for the writer.

SRC: Hmm. Great. Well, I, I think, um, so I'm going to be meeting monthly with my Beacon editor, um, and sending her pages. So it sounds, it sounds a little bit like that. And I think that, um, part of what I also missed as a, with spark of learning the copy editor that I think it was a freelance person, he, he really did fact checking as well, which I know is not the job of a copy editor, but he had line by lines, so many edits and it was wonderful. And like I said, like I welcome that, uh, edit me, edit me. Um, and then at the popular press, the copy editing process was, uh, much, much shallower. And, and, and it may even been just the, the two people that, because I think both presses went with a freelance copy editor person. Um, but I also, yeah, I, I really missed being so thoroughly edited.

RPR: That's one of the things, um, my coach suggested when I was struggling with finding writing buddies or a writing group was working with the developmental editor, um, which is, which is funny because I'm a really good developmental editor myself, but I could absolutely do it for other folks. Then I would enjoy doing it. Other folks find to do it yourself is it's just not your brain just fills in what you think is there. Right. You need those extra set of eyes on it. Yeah. So how's the process on the new book going?

SRC: I think it's pretty early days. And so I am really chipping away at it, uh, with those writing blocks and I'm just starting to interview people. And so for the book, I'm going to be interviewing fellow academics and teachers and people working in the higher ed space. And then I'm also working on a qualitative interview of students. And so I want there to be a strong element in throughout the book where it's student voices about their own learning and that I'm also starting this coming week. And so I think the big challenge with this book is going to be doing my whole job and then doing the expert interviews and then doing the student interviews and then making sure that there's time to write about all of those things. Um, she'll be a challenge.

RPR: Yeah. And that's what that's, what I'm doing right now is, um, I wasn't initially gonna do interviews for the book, but I was having contributors for, with different stories and different things, but there some gaps at the end of that, you know, once, once you get those submissions from the people who are interested, obviously that's a smaller number. Um, and there were some gaps that I wanted to fill. So I've been interviewing some coaches who work with academics, um, specifically some folks who write about academic academia, who are all act now. Um, um, so they're doing, I've been doing interviews and I'm a trained ethnographer, so I love doing interviews, but you remember how intense they are when you try to sit down and code them for the chapters. So it's, it's, it takes a lot of time.

RPR: Yeah. And this is entirely new to me. So I've only ever done quantitative research. And so we have, this is a grant funded project. And so we have a consultant on the grant who is someone who's done a lot of qualitative interviewing and coding and everything, but I, uh, it's still going to be me doing my coding. And so I am looking over the hill of this mountain be a lot.

RPR: And the one thing that I, I don't do myself anymore, as, you know, one of the best pieces of advice I got from my dissertation when I was doing so many interviews was to transcribe your interviews yourself, because things get into your brain that way also very kind of conservative.

SRC: Yeah. Yeah. I started at, for the, for my second book, Hivemind, I did a bunch of interviews and I started out doing that and then ended up going with a transcription company because that was a lot of time.

RPR: So you're talking about kind of the difference in, in the research that goes into these different kinds of books. Um, do you, it seems like Hivemind was definitely science-based, but it was also kind of more of a journalistic tone than you might have in a, in a, in an academic book. Um, and I know I'm trying to get that. I'm trying to work that tone into my book too. Does that help you think about the qualitative pieces of it, if you think about it more journalistically or how does that work for you?

SRC: Yes, I think, well, I don't know yet because I'm just about to start, but I anticipate that, uh, having had the experience with hive mind that one of, I mean, I guess the, one of the things that I can say is I'm anticipating difficulty because when I was doing the IRB application for the student interview project, I felt this tension between, you know, I want these interviews to be for the book, which are very more journalistic. Um, and I had to have language in the consent form that, you know, that they knew that that could show up there, but I also am intending that this is going to be an academic article that will be published in an academic. So, um, and those are different goals. And so both the conversation I imagine, and the coding are serving two different, not opposing goals, but there's some tension there. I think, um, the sorts of things that will work well for the book interview aspect and that sorts of things that will work well for being, um, coded and trying to make meaning in a more academic way. And, and so I guess, I don't know yet how that's going to go, but I do anticipate it, it being tricky to navigate

Speaker 1 (21:47):

Well. And I mean, there are a lot of great books on how to do coding and, you know, things like that. And my process for things like that is literally to just read it over and over again, know that's what I did on my dissertation. It was very, it was very interview based, very observation based. And when I wrapped up the actual study on site, I basically spent a summer just reading it and, you know, making different kinds of outlines and thinking about what maybe this would look like and just, you know, enter like interview after interview, outline of her outline until it started to kind of solidify in my brain about what it was. So it it's, uh, it was a very cerebral kind of, for me, I think my books now are probably a little more emotional, which I think is really kind of different for me, but for connecting with the readers, right? Yeah. With the burnout book, I even, I checked with our IRB to see if I needed an IRB for what I was doing, but because I didn't, I didn't need it. Well, apparently it was, um, it was basically said that it's, most of it's going to be journalistic anyway. So it's not going to go into an academic article. That's really interesting. That would be with the IRB and the consent form too, to see how students kind of think about that process.

SRC: Right. And I, and I didn't, um, to be clear, I came to the same determination with my IRB about the expert interviews that, you know, that in the new Common Rule just says, journalism doesn't count oral history, journalism, you don't need. Um, but the students, because they're students. And also because, because I want this to feed into an academic article as well, it was a little bit different, but

RPR: So thinking about writing, thinking about the difference between journalistic writing and, um, academic writing, I'd like to talk in every, um, in every interview with folks about the four pillars that the podcast is kind of based on and that my burnout book is based on, and those are purpose, compassion, connection, and balance. And I'm wondering which of those maybe stands out to you when you're thinking about work and what that means to you.

SRC: [inaudible] great. Well, I think that I love those pillars. I think that that is fabulous. And I can't wait to read this book and I see them as really connected with each other, you know, which they should be if they're foundational. Um, and I think that one of the trickiest things is navigating balance versus purpose. Um, so I think that purpose is part of balance rates because you want, that's one of the elements that you want in your life to have a sense of purpose, and like you're making a difference. And you're, um, Steve Jobs famously said he wanted to put a ding in the universe, um, that we're putting a ding in the universe. And I think that purpose is so such fuel on such energy. But I think from me, they wore purpose Wars a little bit with balance because I find that you really do my best work and be the healthiest I can be mentally and physically that I need purpose, but I also need lots of, um, downtime.

I need good sleep. I need good exercise. I need good connections with other people. Um, and, and all of those things take time. And I think that one of the biggest struggles for me is not do I, I have a strong sense of purpose and I'm really interested in a lot of things. And so I want to add, add, add, add, um, but then if I'm going to do a good job at those things and especially creative in the creative space, like I can analyze data, you know, if I'm tired and worn out and things like that, but I can't write if I'm exhausted and unhappy. And so, and so it, it's, it's a tricky thing navigating, you know, I want strong purpose and I want to say yes to exciting things, but I need to be sure that I have, I have the energy to tackle those things and to tackle those things well. And I think in particular, it, creativity requires a lot of balance,

RPR: Right. And I think we, um, we think about balance as this. Maybe we're trying to balance the scales of our lives. You know, I maybe I'm thinking like alignment or something would be a better term for some folks because that balance is not going to stay the same over time. Right. Even day to day, you're going to be focusing on different things. You know, I need to focus on my research or I'm feeling really creative right now. So I'm going to use that and then I'll pick up the other side of it, um, another day. So being comfortable with that, I think, and knowing maybe where the high and low ends are. So you don't, um, might be important. And I think that's something that a lot of us struggle with, um, especially women in academia work, um, who think so much more and we're, as we're recording this, we're still, um, it's October, right?

So we're still in the middle of the pandemic and thinking about, you know, balance is such a strange concept today and even purposes and strange concept right now. Um, because I think in a lot of ways, we're, we're very much toward the bottom of Maslow's hierarchy at this point, right. We are trying to make sure that we're maintaining those healthy eating and sleeping and exercising to keep ourselves kind of baseline healthy. Um, so creativity can be challenging. Right, right. As it would be in, in times, any type of times of stress or times of trauma. So, um, how are you, how are you navigating that? Is it the scheduling piece that that's helping you kind of think that or work through that?

SRC: I think so. And I think that I've also learned, and I should say I have tons of privilege. I am in a tenured position and I have a spouse and just one child and, um, our jobs. Okay. And all of these things that make it easier, um, without me doing anything differently. Um, but in that context, I decided a certain point. And I remember it was very clear. It was like halfway through tenure track that a wasn't sleeping, you know, and I was up late at night analyzing data and very miserable and was just very burnt out. And, and I realized that I'd been doing this since my undergraduate days or since late high school. And you know, that I was however old, I was then mid-thirties. And if I didn't start sleeping now, I'm never going to sleep. And like, what, and, and it just to say, like, even if I don't get tenure, like I don't care.

Like I'm going to start sleeping. And, and, and so, um, I'm a little bit of a sleep evangelical and I think sleep is the most important thing. And, and then at certain point, I think it was post-tenure I added exercise. And, um, because I would always stop exercising, you know, fourth week of the semester and, and then binge exercise in the summer and breaks. And, and so, and it was really like kind of a mental decision, like within the context of all this privilege that I could do it. I I'm like, no, I'm sleeping and I'm exercising. And I do that first. I just do that. And, um, if other stuff doesn't get done, it doesn't get done. And if other people are unhappy with me then, so be it

RPR: That, the next question did you get blow back from, from other folks about prioritizing those things?

SRC: I didn't, and, you know, maybe I work with nice people, but, um, I think also, and this is something that I always tell my students about sleep. Um, I tell this story about this one graduate student. So all through graduate school, my whole cohort, like all of us were stressed. None of us slept. I remember just laying in the office floor being like, I'm so tired. Um, and there was this one graduate student, uh, who she said that she would stop working. She would eat dinner at 6:00 PM every night. And she would stop working after 6:00 PM and she would go to sleep and she would sleep like eight hours. And none of us could understand her. Um, but she got, she got a lot done. And, and I actually found when I made this change and during the tenure track, but I got more done when I was well rested.

And so I think that when we're exhausted and we're not physically fit and we're stressed and we're burnt out, we're not efficient. Um, it was really like almost as magic bullet where I think we just, we just focus. We sit down and, and you think more clearly you think more creatively, um, and you're able to do more with less time. And so I always tell, I say, I say to my students and I tell them the story, I put up a picture of my friends and is it you're not going to believe me, but it's true. Like if you sleep, you know, because they'll say to me, my students as Amy, I can't sleep. I have like five papers I have to have to go to work. I have to, you know, all these things. Um, and so I try to convince them.

RPR: Yeah. I, I think at the pressure that graduate students are under now, um, clearly right now is a moment, but generally speaking, my degrees are in professional writing and writing studies. So when I was though I graduated 13 years ago, it was like 13 or 14 years ago with my PhD. And I don't, I went straight into a tenure track job then also privileged in that sense. But I don't think I published my first article until three years in, and now once they're having to have X number to get interviews, um, so then I feel like the right thing, maybe that the stress has proliferated because the standards have shifted because there are fewer jobs, especially in the humanities and social sciences. So

SRC: Yes, I actually, I recently, um, we have three people coming up for tenure in my department and, and it was evaluating all of their cases and looking at it, it was like they exceed all of our departmental standards for tenure. You know, our administration had us write out all these standards for tenure and, and each one of the three exceeded them. And then I was like, Oh no. Um, the administration is going to look at this and just say, well, if you have three people in one year and they all exceeded the standards, we need to up those standards. And, and just looking at their dossier, it's just like, they're not sleeping. There's no way they're sleeping. There's no way they're exercising. There's no way they're there for their families and friends and themselves in a way that is healthy. And, and then it's just going to get worse. And, and I agree that it just keeps accelerating and with no end in sight. And that is very dismaying.

RPR: Do you think there's a gender difference there too, women doing more because they feel, we feel like we need to validate ourselves more or put ourselves in a position to be judged fairly?

SRC: I think so. And I think that where I see women doing more is even, is less with the like pure academic work that shows up in the CV as, um, with the articles and the committees, but is for students. And I think that's our students anyway, tends to seek out the women faculty more, or all of the sort of emotional labor, you know, uh, help and assistance and support, and that they pour a lot of hours, a lot more hours into that. Um, it's somewhere that I see a strong gender difference.

RPR: Yeah. One of the things I'm finding in the research on burnout is that most of it doesn't agree on things like that, but women are more likely to experience exhaustion and, um, depersonalization. So starting to kind of step back from that kind of emotional labor, just because they don't have anything left to give, but you know, it's not that they don't still value their students or really want to be doing what they're doing. There's just the well is dry. Right. You need to fill that up. And that's an important part with sleep and eating right. And exercising. Right. And you're, you're right. Like week four of a semester is usually

SRC: It starts falling apart.

RPR: That's when the big tests started happening in the big papers spending all that time. So, well, I have one more question. Um, so what is maybe one last thought that you would like to leave women in higher ed or women adjacent to higher ed today?

SRC: [inaudible] I think it's related. I was thinking that I was going to say sleep, but I think we already covered that. And then in enough depth, I think saying, no it feel okay to say no and also ask for things, you know, and that this has definitely been a lesson that I have learned. And part of it is just, you know, over the years, being on different committees and seeing different behaviors of male and female faculty, and it just seems like you can ask for things like we have this whole grant pro, um, granting program that gives faculty some money to do some research. And I was talking to a fellow faculty, we were in a search committee together and he said, Oh, I always ask, you know, it has like this cap. Right. And he's like, I always ask for more than the cap and I usually get it.

And I said, how can you ask for more than the cap? The cap is the cap, but the cap is apparently not, but, and I absolutely bet you that, um, that women ask for more than a cap almost never. And so I have really tried to intentionally ask for more things. And then the other part of that is saying no to, I think we're reluctant to say no to things. And I think it's really important. I mean, it's a little bit of a cliche, but, um, I think that it is one of the hardest things to learn, to say no, and to ask other people for things. Cause what do they get to pick? Maybe they'll say no, but maybe they worst thing that can happen.

RPR: Right. Well, thank you so much for being here today, Sarah. I really enjoyed it. This is fine. Thanks for listening to this episode of the agile academic podcast for women in higher ed, to make sure you don't miss an episode. Follow the show on Apple and Google podcasting apps and bookmark the show page where you'll find show notes and a transcript with each episode, you'll find the show at Rebecca Pope If you'd like to recommend someone to interview, please just complete the contact form at the bottom of the page. Take care and stay well.