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Academic Miss Conduct: Back to school story contest!

Posted by Robin Abrahams  September 5, 2010 05:23 AM

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No magazine this week, because of the Labor Day weekend. In lieu of a column, or a Monday question, I have a contest for you instead!

It's back to school time, and Miss Conduct wants to hear your stories of the good, the bad, and the ugly in your educational experiences, from kindergarten to postdoc.

The winners of the three best stories will get two tickets each (including complimentary drinks and parking) to Central Square Theater's production of "Truth Values: One Girl's Romp Through MIT's Male Math Maze."

Here are the requirements:

1. The story must be true (you're on your honor here!). It can be a positive story, a negative story, or just a plain old weird one. It should illuminate something about social behavior in academic circles -- whether it's a cookie-time circle or a dissertation defense.

2. It must be 300 words or thereabouts (roughly two-to-three minutes speaking time).

3. You can enter up to two stories.

4. You must be able to attend the Saturday, September 11 8 p.m performance and be willing to tell your story at the "Story Share" after the show. 

I'll be at the show and the story share afterward. I have a story about my first days as a graduate student, and a Grand Old Man of an emeritus professor who had an effective, but idiosyncratic, technique of making sure his students didn't waste his time.

Let the stories rip! And I still want to hear your stories even if you're not entering the contest--if you can't attend the show, please mention that in your post.

Winners will be announced Wednesday at noon.

I'll have a Wednesday conversation topic up as well. Regular programming on the blog will resume Monday the 13th, after Rosh Hashanah.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About Miss Conduct
Welcome to Miss Conduct’s blog, a place where the popular Boston Globe Magazine columnist Robin Abrahams and her readers share etiquette tips, unravel social conundrums, and gossip about social behavior in pop culture and the news. Have a question of your own? Ask Robin using this form or by emailing her at

Who is Miss Conduct?

Robin Abrahamswrites the weekly "Miss Conduct" column for The Boston Globe Magazine and is the author of Miss Conduct's Mind over Manners. Robin has a PhD in psychology from Boston University and also works as a research associate at Harvard Business School. Her column is informed by her experience as a theater publicist, organizational-change communications manager, editor, stand-up comedian, and professor of psychology and English. She lives in Cambridge with her husband Marc Abrahams, the founder of the Ig Nobel Prizes, and their socially challenged but charismatic dog, Milo.

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