Monday, November 13, 2006

Face(book)less

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how I am taking an undergraduate language class this semester. So far, it's been great, though it's always strange for me when we do conversation drills about what jobs we want to have when we graduate, what classes we are taking, and what our parents' hobbies are.

By far the strangest experience was when we had to show and talk about photographs of our family and friends. Many of the other students got out their laptops and opened their Facebook pages. It was just like what I've read about -- endless flash photos of drunken parties with people hanging off each other whilst holding alcoholic beverages. This might have presented opportunities for learning some words and phrases that are not in our textbook, but the instructor didn't seem to want to linger much on these photos.

I have a webpage with photos of my family (husband, daughter, cats), but these photos must seem boring to my fellow students, who are all at least half my age. What would a Facebook for science professors look like? Perhaps I should start bringing a camera to conferences so I can take crazy photos of people clustered around a poster display. Or, if I wanted to get really wild, I could take pictures at faculty meetings. Now that would be scary.

7 comments:

JF, scientist said...

Eating in lab! (We used to make espresso on the hot plate in my last lab.) Handling EtBr without gloves! Drawing your own blood for FACS controls!

Maxine said...

Yikes! All I have is a 2 year old school photo of one daughter, and a 5 year old photo of both of them at Disneyland Paris. Nothing whatsoever of any adults in the family.

Female Science Professor said...

Well, OK, the actual ratio of photos of husband : daughter : cats on my webpages is 1 : 370 : 3, or thereabouts.

trillwing said...

Well, taking flash photos at a faculty meeting sure would liven it up quickly, wouldn't it?

Maybe I'll try that trick during my lecture course. I'll sneak up and take photos of sleeping students. :)

Kyle said...

At least they didn't make you look at their myspace pages. Have you seen what some people's myspace pages look like? I'm not sure who thought semi-transparent images and light purple text should be placed over repeating rainbow colored backgrounds, but they need to stick their heads in a blender.

I share your pain in coming up with crazy photographs worthy of the internet. Maybe we're making it harder than it is. Smothering yourself in alchohol and then pretending to be happy around a bunch of drunks can't be that hard to arrange. It happens at every wedding... and most wake's too.

Ms.PhD said...

I've never seen Facebook, so this post went right by me. Though it's interesting to reflect on the generation gap, since I'm probably smack between their age and yours.

said...

Heh, I have both a very professional looking myspace and facebook page, and students ask to add me fairly often. Actually, my pages are downright boring, but I'm out there.

I've actually thought that the groups/message board feature in facebook could make an interesting place to hold a class, but students' interest in it was ambivalent when I set up a quiz online: about half were absolutely enthusiastic, the other half were panicked that I'd see their dirty photos. Little do they know I've ALREADY seen the stupid dirty photos while searching for my own friends at the University by accident, ugh.