I know that most [people], including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives. -- Leo Tolstoy
conversations about their mentors occurred weekly at Sgt.
Preston’s, a downtown hang-out of the group of graduate students
and post-docs with whom Ramona and Brad had become close during
Brad’s doctoral work. The group had become an extended family.
They celebrated birthdays and anniversaries together. They
met each other’s families. Even years later they would find
themselves quoting Jim Huber’s mother, “Such a big sigh for
such a young person” as if it were their own family’s history
and humor. In their precious leisure time, the group backpacked
and camped together at Indiana Dunes, the Bob Marshall Wilderness
Area, and the Smoky Mountains, and in these camping trips,
celebratory dinners, and the too infrequent moments of sheer
nothingness, the “wasted time,” as called it, for dreams and exploration and reflection,
they talked of their professional and personal lives.
What did occur frequently for graduate students and post-docs was long hours in the lab. Employed for 20 or 40 hours a week, they often spent 120 hours each week in the lab. Brad and Ramona knew an infamous mentor in the psychology department. Although in his own lab for only a very few hours a week, Rich did find time to spout to his trainees, “You are working for me 24/7. Then you have your nights and weekends to do more work if needed.” A brilliant man, Rich maximized his brief time in the lab each week with a clever strategy. During his five-year rotation as psychology department chair, his name appeared as co-author on at least 50 percent of the psychology faculty publications. Rich justified each request for co-authorship: “I should be listed as a co-author because I funded your research assistant from the departmental budget.” “I released you from teaching a class so you could write the grant proposal that resulted in this research.” And, the most egregious, “You used departmental envelopes to send out the research questionnaires so please include me as the third author.”