Monday, August 20, 2007

Scenes From a Meeting

Regular readers may recall my encounter earlier this summer with a man who was surprised, upon meeting me, to realize that I am a FemaleScienceProfessor rather than a MaleScienceProfessor. His astonishment stemmed from the fact that he had heard of me, read my papers, even had one of his own papers reviewed by me. Anyway, as I wrote, he finally got over his disbelief that a female could have accomplished the scientific things I have accomplished, and we spent an amicable week at a small conference and had numerous conversations about Science.

This morning I went down to breakfast at a hotel, and there he was! I smiled and said good morning, and he stared at me, at first blankly, then with a confused expression. He did not return my greeting. Oh well.. maybe he's one of those people who isn't good with names/faces, even for someone he just met a month or two ago? But no, once again, I had the opportunity to shift his universe. The reason he couldn't believe I was me yet again? This morning I was accompanied by a young child, my daughter. He was surprised that a mom-type person with a kid was greeting him at the hotel, and thought I was just a friendly person saying random good mornings to people at breakfast. After all, HE is here for a conference.

11 comments:

lost academic said...

He's going to be so embarrassed later.

Jamy said...

Maybe he has some very mild form of autism. If you look the same, the context shouldn't have thrown him for such a loop.

Ms.PhD said...

Classic!

I get the same thing when I wear a dress.

I like the autism explanation, since it explains why 'mom' people go in a totally different category than 'science' people.

Little boxes, everyone.

EcoGeoFemme said...

priceless.

Rosie Redfield said...

I find that context is everything in remembering faces, and the older I get the worse it gets.

I was never very good at faces, but now I fail to recognize people I know so often that I've had to give up being embarassed by it. And often I can't even apologize because I don't remember who they are until hours later. (Something about the synapes all slowing down???)

James Annan said...

Well, I sometimes struggle to place people when I meet them out of context, especially when I'm concentrating on such pressing matters as a meal. OTOH, maybe I'm mildly autistic too :-)

Anonymous said...

I had the same thought. People with Asperger's (not exactly scarce in the sciences, relatively speaking) often have a terrible time recognizing faces unless they're given a lot of supporting clues to the person's identity.

Harv said...

Although context does have a lot to do for some people.

A young male said hi to me before a bellydance show I was attending and I had no idea who he was. I couldn't place him. Then half way through I realized that he was in the intro science class I was a teaching assistant for.

It just really threw me that the geeky guy from class was going to a bellydance show.

I figured asking him during class if he liked the bellydance show wasn't exactly the thing to do... perhaps I should have?

Anfa said...

He's a jackass.
And you rock.

scarlettscion said...

I don't know, I often have serious trouble with faces. That's fantastic that you could show this to him (again) though! He seems open-minded enough.

TW Andrews said...

Heh, this guy so lives in his own world...