Professor Can't Get Over My Being URM....

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
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doceydoe
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Professor Can't Get Over My Being URM....

Postby doceydoe » Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:01 am

So I'm URM...but apparently thats all my mentor wants to talk about.

I come from a large urban public university where being URM is par for the course. I didn't realize how uncommon URM's are in law school until I arrived. In fact, I did not think about it much until my mentor brought it to my attention.

My mentor seems to always point out my race, gender, etc. but at the same time presents himself as extremely liberal. I'm growing weary of his mentioning the races of his best friends, colleagues, etc. Its starting to drive me up the wall since when I aggreed to the mentorship program I was hoping for academic/career advice. Not to mention I feel outright uncomfortable when the conversation turns to race, etc.

Beyond this, the professor is well respected on campus...any advice on how I can let a professor know his comments make me feel uncomfortable without coming off as rude?

rad lulz
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Re: Professor Can't Get Over My Being URM....

Postby rad lulz » Sun Oct 28, 2012 2:06 am

I don't really understand what he's doing. Elaborate?

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BlaqBella
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Re: Professor Can't Get Over My Being URM....

Postby BlaqBella » Sun Oct 28, 2012 2:51 am

rad lulz wrote:I don't really understand what he's doing. Elaborate?



:roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :arrow:

OP, I have crossed paths with similar types. If you can't change mentors simply sit him down and express the fact that you are his mentee and would prefer topics associated with mentorship/mentoring be discussed without there being a sole focus on race. Just be honest with him on your level of comfort. If he can't respect that then consider changing mentors.

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IAFG
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Re: Professor Can't Get Over My Being URM....

Postby IAFG » Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:22 am

I don't think there's any way you can address a problem like this without negatively impacting the nature of your relationship (in the sense that you want to have a close, comfortable relationship with mentors where you feel you can be honest and open). Honestly I have always found these sorts of forced/planned mentorship programs to rarely make good matches. I would suggest taking it upon yourself to seek out good mentors outside this program and not bother trying to change this guy.

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20121109
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Re: Professor Can't Get Over My Being URM....

Postby 20121109 » Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:32 am

BlaqBella wrote: If he can't respect that then consider changing mentors.


IAFG wrote: I would suggest taking it upon yourself to seek out good mentors outside this program and not bother trying to change this guy.


+1 to the above.

OP, mentees choose their own mentors. If you are uncomfortable with constantly discussing race then just find another mentor who doesn't. I suggest you maintain the relationship but limit the time you spend together.

There are two ways I would deal with this. 1. Always remain cordial and respectful, and if he brings it up when you do see him, just be polite, acknowledge and thank him for any URM advice and change the subject. Or 2. Use this as an opportunity to create a dialogue so you don't feel so uncomfortable. Mentors and mentees should be willing to have open and honest conversations with each other, even when they don't necessarily agree.

Finally, get used to people making you feel uncomfortable because of your race in the legal field. Awkward encounters will occur, whether or not a person has good intentions like your mentor. You are, after all, an under-represented minority. So by definition URMs are uncommon in law school. Issues of race will come up again and again. It's more practical to simply use this mentorship issue as an opportunity to increase your comfort level with the subject.

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doceydoe
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Re: Professor Can't Get Over My Being URM....

Postby doceydoe » Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:20 am

Edit.
Last edited by doceydoe on Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Phlash58
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Re: Professor Can't Get Over My Being URM....

Postby Phlash58 » Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:44 pm

IAFG wrote:I don't think there's any way you can address a problem like this without negatively impacting the nature of your relationship (in the sense that you want to have a close, comfortable relationship with mentors where you feel you can be honest and open). Honestly I have always found these sorts of forced/planned mentorship programs to rarely make good matches. I would suggest taking it upon yourself to seek out good mentors outside this program and not bother trying to change this guy.


This.

Also, relax.




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