It is that one-up, one-down position. The assumption is that one does not know what one is doing at all, needs very basic instruction and is recalcitrant. Questions or attempts to refocus discussion to a more sophisticated are met with this behaviorist, “you have not gotten my point yet.”
I have already been underestimated far more than was good for me and it is precisely my unwillingness to interact with people who behave this way that made me so agoraphobic about academia so long. You have to increase your self-respect, not decrease it the way Boice and the Boiceans would have you do.
It is with more self-respect, and more faith in the validity of your views, that you get more done. These self-helpers who want to break you down and pretend you are less than competent are not useful.
I say this as I continue grading. Grading takes a long time if you take the self-helpers to heart and question your assignment and your standards more than you should. It is all the self-interrogation, and all the abdication of judgment to authority, that I find so unhelpful about self-help.
I was first exposed to Boice and the Boiceans during Reeducation, when I had a degree finished easily and on time and a page of articles, and had lost faith in myself because of … emotional and verbal abuse. The Boiceans could not write and assumed my inability to do anything at all had to be the kind of writing problem they had.
Not to say so, to say one had another problem, was “arrogance” and “denial.” I am against the Boiceans for this reason, and against Boice because he has no idea what it would be to already like writing and to already have experience doing it — and doing it over the long term, when you have many other things you also do each day.
Self-respect has to come first, j’insiste. And my apparently good work ethic is good to the extent that it does not come from grim discipline but from good self-care.