Lynn's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    TEACH Roadtrip

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Amherst, MA

LYNN PHILLIPS

Senior Lecturer/Chief Undergraduate Advisor
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

“If our intellectual work isn't grounded in the heart, it isn't going to be all that meaningful.”

INTERESTS:

Education Non-Profit Organizations

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Education Individualism Passion Values Desire Focus Struggle Acceptance Family Pressure Experience Transitions Character Fulfillment Inspiration Doubt Fear Success Opportunity Negativity Societal Pressures Goals Self-Reflection Choices Hard Work Perseverance

FOUNDATION:

Teaching / Mentoring

TAGS:

crying, democracy, disappointment, doctorate degree, double major, education, grad school, growth, happiness, humanity, inspiration, intellectual, issues, med school, meditate, mother, privilege, psychology, teaching, value

BIOGRAPHY:

  • She was told all her life that she should be a psychiatrist; her mom didn't get to go to medical school, so she wanted her daughter to go.
  • After college, Lynn decided she wanted to pursue a Ph.D. rather than an M.D., and she ironically had to "break" that news to her mom.
  • She knew she was disappointing her mother, but it felt empowering to finally take control of her own destiny.
  • At the beginning of her studies, she was interested in consumerism; says, "I was talking about importance of having a choice of toothpastes."
  • A professor pointed out that while she was talking about mundane choices, people were starving; she had an epiphany, and everything fell into place.
  • She's taught gender studies classes for 25 years; says her work can be "ugly" at times, but she feels strongly and deeply about it.
  • She taught her first class as part of her postgraduate school coursework; at first, she was absolutely terrified.
  • After her midterm evaluations revealed that her students actually loved her class, she decided to stick with teaching.

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