Jessica Bacal

Mar 17, 2022

Dealing with Rejection

A Discussion with Jessica Bacal

New Books Network 2022

Welcome to The Academic Life! In this episode you’ll hear about:

  • Dr. Bacal professional and academic rejections
  • How success and rejection are part of the same path
  • The importance of having a supportive person or a support system
  • Why rejection is part of the hidden curriculum
  • A discussion of the book The Rejection that Changed My Life

Today’s book is: The Rejection that Changed My Life, featuring interviews with more than twenty-five women, including Keri Smith, Angela Duckworth, and Roz Chast. Rejections don’t go on your résumé, but they are part of every successful person’s career. All of us will apply for jobs that we don’t get or have ambitions that aren’t fulfilled, because that is part of pushing oneself to the next step professionally. While everyone deserves feel-better stories, women are more likely to ruminate, more likely to overthink rejection until it becomes even more painful—a situation that the women in this collection are determined to change, and in so doing, normalize rejection and encourage others to talk about it.

Our guest is: Dr. Jessica Bacal is director of Reflective and Integrative Practices and of the Narratives Project at Smith College. She leads programs to help students explore identity and find resilience in community. She also teaches a course called Designing Your Path, which guides students to consider questions like: What is your story? Where have you been and where are you going? What matters to you? What skills do you need to pursue what matters? Before her career in higher education, she was an elementary school teacher in New York City, and then a curriculum developer and consultant. She received a bachelor’s degree from Carleton College, an MFA in writing from Hunter College, and an EdD from the University of Pennsylvania. She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, with her husband, two children, and two dogs. She is the author of The Rejection that Changed My Life.

Our host is: Dr. Christina Gessler, a historian of women and gender.

Listeners to this episode might also be interested in:

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Christina Gessler

Dr. Christina Gessler holds a PhD in U.S. history.
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