|What We All Should|
Patton, dear reader, is one of the bright young faces in the new journalism. A staff writer for The Chronicle, she also contributes regularly to The Root, to Dame, to the Washington Post, and to Jezebel. With a PhD in History and an accomplished memoir chronicling her coming of age in an abusive adoptive home, Patton embodies both the alt-ac career path we are trying to spotlight for graduate students and the tradition of African American public intellectuals most prominently represented by Jelani Cobb, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Brittney Cooper. She is a hard-working survivor, a black voice with great promise, and, to those who know her, a clever humorist.
“Dear Student,” the column that Patton produced, was pure, straightforward satire. Good, bad, or otherwise. More softly echoing “College Misery,” it featured a rotating group of faculty voices, each sarcastically responding to an imagined slight from a hypothetical, abstract, entitled student. “Let’s say,” one prompt read, “you get a note from a student who you’re pretty sure is making up a story about a dead grandmother. How would you write back?"