Here is your perhaps unnecessary reminder that even high-powered successful “lean in”-type businesswomen like Jill Abramson zigzag. The ex-Managing Editor of the New York Times has accepted a position helping students hone their narrative non-fiction skills at Harvard:
She will be a visiting lecturer in the Department of English for the 2014-15 academic year, the university said in a statement, and will teach in the fall and spring semesters. In the statement, Ms. Abramson said she was “honored and excited.” Narrative nonfiction, she said, “is more important than ever. Its traditions and how it is changing in the digital transition are fascinating areas of study.” Ms. Abramson previously taught journalism seminars at Yale and Princeton.
At a commencement address at Wake Forest University just days after she was fired, Ms. Abramson spoke of an uncertain future. “What’s next for me?” she said to the graduates. “I don’t know. So I’m in exactly the same boat as many of you. Like you, I’m a little scared, but also excited.” Ms. Abramson, a 1976 Harvard College graduate, has a tattoo featuring the school’s H logo, as well as a tattoo of the T from The New York Times’s masthead.
If we had to life-map ourselves in tattoos, my own more varied collection would include a lion, a phoenix, a couple of corporate insignias, two logos for workplaces that no longer exist, a plant to symbolize the time I worked in the greenhouse of the National Zoo, a Danish kroner for my semester abroad, a subway token to demonstrate my feverish gratitude that I live in a place that lets me not have to drive, a quill pen, and the Kurt Vonnegut quote, “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be very careful what we pretend to be.”
Anyway, Jill Abramson is going to teach! Good job hiring her, Harvard. Now how long before one of her smart-ass students writes “pushy” on her evaluations, do you think?