Make Your Home Among Strangers

by

Jennine Capó Crucet

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Professor Kaufmann Character Analysis

Professor Kaufmann is Lizet’s professor during her second-semester practical lab class. Dr. Kaufmann notices Lizet’s enthusiasm and aptitude for lab research early on and takes Lizet under her wing, offering her the chance to participate in a selective research program out in Santa Barbara. Professor Kaufmann clearly wants Lizet to pursue her newfound interest in biology and lab research, and when Lizet—unwilling to burden the professor with the reality of her demanding home situation and lack of access to funds—begins shutting Kaufmann out, the professor does not give up on her student.

Professor Kaufmann Quotes in Make Your Home Among Strangers

The Make Your Home Among Strangers quotes below are all either spoken by Professor Kaufmann or refer to Professor Kaufmann. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Home Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Picador edition of Make Your Home Among Strangers published in 2015.
Chapter 25 Quotes

—We never, ever use pencil because we never erase anything. You must keep the mistakes there. Mistakes are vital to every scientist's process. Just put a line through whatever you did incorrectly and keep going.

I wrote down this sentence and stared at it. It made perfect sense. The forgiveness built into this basic research philosophy—so simple and obvious—instantly validated my first semester in a way I could finally accept: everything led to this moment in this lab, the beginning of a new challenge of my own choosing. Put a line through it and keep going—I looked around to the other benches to see if anyone else registered the power of what she'd just said, but I was the only one taking notes, the only one nodding as my pen hovered over the page.

Related Characters: Lizet Ramirez (speaker), Professor Kaufmann
Page Number: 254
Explanation and Analysis:
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Professor Kaufmann Character Timeline in Make Your Home Among Strangers

The timeline below shows where the character Professor Kaufmann appears in Make Your Home Among Strangers. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 25
Immigration and Assimilation Theme Icon
...take place. The class is small—only twelve students—and is led by a professor named Dr. Kaufmann, a German biophysicist who is world-renowned for her work in population ecology. (full context)
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Immigration and Assimilation Theme Icon
Dr. Kaufmann teaches her students how to keep a lab notebook. Meticulously writing in pen and never... (full context)
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Dr. Kaufmann spends the second part of class teaching her students the correct technique for sterile handling... (full context)
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...the meal wraps up, Lizet asks if it’s nerdy for her to go to Professor Kaufmann’s office hours on the first day of classes, but Ethan excitedly encourages her to go... (full context)
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At Professor Kaufmann’s office, Lizet bonds with her new teacher over their shared love of the ocean. Though... (full context)
Chapter 26
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...wearing Omar’s ring on her right hand instead of her left. She thrives in Dr. Kaufmann’s class, and develops a friendly relationship with the professor. She continues attending Ethan’s Happy Hours,... (full context)
Chapter 27
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Lizet receives an email from Dr. Kaufmann, stating that the professor wants to meet with Lizet outside of class to discuss something... (full context)
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After class, Professor Kaufmann excitedly calls Lizet over to her desk and asks her to sit down. Dr. Kaufmann... (full context)
Chapter 28
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Familial Duty and Betrayal Theme Icon
...selfish and focusing only on her own problems—she tells herself that she is only Professor Kaufmann’s “pity case” anyway. With shaking hands, Lizet goes to her computer and books a flight... (full context)
Chapter 29
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...(and then deleting) apology letters to Ethan. Lizet is worried she will run into Professor Kaufmann—she lied to her about going home for spring break in order to put off talking... (full context)
Chapter 31
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Familial Duty and Betrayal Theme Icon
...days before the start of spring break. Inside are all the application materials for Professor Kaufmann’s interest—Lizet now understands why Professor Kaufmann has been distant. Lizet lied about going home for... (full context)
Chapter 34
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In her next lab class, Lizet is surprised when Professor Kaufmann approaches her and asks her to stay after class. Lizet gets nervous, and struggles with... (full context)
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Professor Kaufmann blinks, and says she doesn’t understand—she wants to know what Lizet will be doing in... (full context)
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Lizet tries once and for all to get out of the internship, but Kaufmann insists Lizet keep an open mind, and continue to consider the offer. Lizet does not... (full context)
Chapter 35
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Familial Duty and Betrayal Theme Icon
...her summer in New York, but she has had no more messages from Ethan. Professor Kaufmann has accidentally copied her on an email meant for the participants of the Santa Barbara... (full context)
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...library. She calls a number she saw in the email she mistakenly received from Professor Kaufmann and gets a hold of the program coordinator; she asks if her spot is still... (full context)