Friday, August 07, 2009

Academic Gifts, The End

The Academic Gifts exercise continues. Some of the ones in this group are gems.

Reminder: 1 point for relevant to YOU, no points if irrelevant. See previous 3 posts if you are confused.

1 ... Happy Couple Classroom PDA (and even worse)

1 ... Dysfunctional Colleague Who Pretends Not to See You (In fact, another colleague and I were discussing the other day whether Our Colleague Who Pretends Not to See Anybody could be a department chair and keep this habit)

1 ... Subjectless, Greetingless & Signatureless E-mail from Student (Is a greetingless email worse than one that greets you as Yo Prof!?) -- note: this "gift" on FB has been sent more than 7600 times, which is a lot

0 ... Hideous Milkcrate Bookshelves (I think I might prefer these to some of the metal kind, though)

1 ... Colleague with a Mid-life Crisis (I want to have one of these so I can get a nicer car)

1 ... TA Who Does Absolutely Nothing (OK to substitute RA here)

1 ... Ubiquitous Department Gossipmonger (but that's OK because we talk about this person all the time too)

0 ... Nympho Librarian (?)

0 ... Last Ream of Paper on Campus Due to Budget Crisis (but I might be able to add this point next week)

0 ... Empty Classroom the Week Before Spring Break (not my students)

0 ... Overprotective Librarian (What's with the librarians? All the ones I've encountered have been very nice and helpful.)

1 ... Urgent Request for Letter of Recommendation from Mediocre Student

1 ... Student with Impressive Record of Absenteeism

1 ... Well-rested Colleague on Sabbatical

0 ... Overcrowded Faculty Parking Lot

0 ... Only Reason to go to Talk: Free Food

1 ... Five-paragraph Essay (my first task when teaching freshmen to write is to kill their tendency to write 5-paragraph essays)

0 ... Invitation to a Frat Party (but my husband got one not long ago)

1 ... Colleague "Secretly" Dating Student (this one isn't funny)

0 ... Post-tenure Visible Tattoo

1 ... Lingering Microwave Lunch Stench Trapped in Windowless Office (or in the corridors)

1 ... Campus Building Requiring Many Keys to Enter (or keycards or codes or retina scans)

1 ... End-of-semester madness

1 ... Reply All to the Department Listserv

1 ... 0%: Your Most Recent Merit Raise

1 ... Absurd Number of Books to Read for Comprehensive Exams (and journal articles)

1 ... Students Asking to Borrow Your Stapler

0 ... Shock-inducing Course Attendance Policy

1 ... Encore: "My Grandmother Passed Away" (presumably this is the other grandmother)

0 ... Maladjusted Child of Two Academic Parents (my child is of course perfectly adjusted)

1 ... Repeatedly Forwarded Departmental Email

0 ... Honorary Doctorate

1 ... Departmental Crazy Genius

1 ... Grad Student Who Lives in his/her Office (not me, but I've known a few)

1 ... Annoying Campus Evangelist

OK, so how did you do?

I got 101/143. Although I did omit a few of the "gifts", of the 143 I did include, 71% of them are relevant to my academic existence. That's a bit chilling, considering that most of the "gifts" focus on the bizarre and annoying aspects of academic life.

And now what shall we add to our gift registry? How about:

Bearded Colleague Wearing Jacket with Suede Elbow Patches

All Male Hiring Committee

Grad Students with Writers Block

Student Assuming You Must be an Adjunct Because you are Female

Department Chair Who Assigns Clerical Tasks to Female Faculty

Retired Professor Who Takes Years to Move Out of His/Her Office

Male Committee Member Who Accuses Female Committee Members of Being "Biased" Whenever They Say Anything Positive About Female Candidates


zed said...

Colleague Who Wears Bright Green Down Vest (Indoors) at Conferences

Lab Website That Hasn't Been Updated in 5 Years

Women's Washroom Only on Every Other Floor

Susan B. Anthony said...

I didn't do so well today -- only 75 overall. I don't think it was a fair exam. (However, it was hilarious!)

Juliet said...

I'm a social scientist, and I got 101 as well - more proof that academics have much in common! I also, sadly, got all of your "extra credit" items at the end.

Odyssey said...

I managed 91. I guess I don't lose.

plam said...

One of these Hallowe'ens I am so getting a jacket with suede elbow patches. (and a pipe?) The beard is a bit problematic though. I think I'm teaching freshmen in Fall 2010. That should be perfect.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I only made it to 44! Either I'm on the wrong side of the pond, or it's because I'm still a grad student.

Anne said...

Add: Student who calls you Mrs FSP rather than Dr FSP

Amy said...

109/143 - do I pass?

Senior colleague who dumps all menial work on junior FSP

Student who "accidentally" plagiarized entire assignment (from web or another student or both)

Anonymous said...

Ok, can't resist any further:

Male colleague who addresses all conversations to your breasts.

Cockroaches in office/lab. (Was this already on list?)

No door on bathroom stall.

High-water khakis.

Persistent crumb in keyboard.

Office/lab not dusted since building was constructed (and maybe not even then).

Most recent phone book from 1990s.

I could go on and on....

Kevin said...

I only hit 40. Either I'm lucky about the departments I've worked in for the past 25 years, or the irritants in my academic life were not included in the list.

Kevin said...

Another one (very recent):

Student of another faculty member who requests a letter of recommendation in the bathroom of a local movie theater.

ME said...

Or better yet, unisex restroom (male/female slider and vacant occupied slider) where men always leave sign on male/occupied.

I got 76, so I guess life could be worse.

Anonymous said...

Colleagues in a love triangle (or quadrangle or...)

Unfunded mandates

anything "student centered"

New Asst. Prof. said...

Potential technician assuming you are the postdoc, not his/her potential supervisor.

Ice machine that hasn't worked in 3 months and counting...

Windowless office shared with slightly off-kilter colleague who regularly (and audibly) calls her computer "idiot child."

New postdoc down the hall who assumes you are research admin and wonders why you haven't fixed the film processor yet.

Old postdoc who should know better, but saunters into lab anyway to ask to borrow something when you are clearly thawing out the minus 20C freezer and said reagent is clearly at the bottom of a tub of dry ice.

(and that's just this week, folks!)

sarcozona said...

Five-paragraph Essay (my first task when teaching freshmen to write is to kill their tendency to write 5-paragraph essays)

In defense of undergrads struggling with writing, most public schools do a terrible job teaching it; I was only allowed to write 5 paragraph essays in school from 4th to 10th grade.

Anonymous said...

male postdocs who assume you are the technician or secretary because you are female.

Student said...

how do you refer to someone in authority and/or older than you who does not have a PhD. For someone with a PhD, you just call him/her Dr. xyz.

But for someone without a PhD, can you pretend you thought he/she has a PhD? First name seems to be too casual and informal, esp. when you are talking about Dr. abc, Dr. ijk, then you mention Mr. (the person w/o a PhD)

Anonymous said...

I got 82.


Grad student gets training from you then moves on to another program (or institution or advisor) before completing doctorate.

Summer teaching, 2 or more summers in a row.

Junior faculty assumes because you treat him or her well, it means his or her work's more valuable than yours.

Full professor says "we are like a family here."

Administrator gives your grant indirects to another department.

New assistant professor makes 20% more than you do.

Administrator refers to faculty as "employees."

Classroom is > 3 blocks from office.

Department secretary spreads rumours about you.

Bookstore loses book order for course.

Adrienne said...

All said and done, I got 65 / 143. I assume this is because I am a grad student, so can't mark any of the faculty meeting ones. I could add in a few extra credits given at the end and in the comments.

Here are a couple of my own:
Student Who Says They Will Email concerning an assignment, and then Never Do

Shared Office with Someone Who Rarely Showers

Never Cleaned Out Office Fridge

quasarpulse said...

@ Student,
I usually go with "Professor" as a substitute for "Dr." when Ph.D. status is negative or unknown if the person in question does anything remotely resembling teaching classes, mentoring students, or performing research at a postsecondary educational institution of any sort.

If I can't get away with that, and if the person doesn't have a military rank, professional title, or title of nobility, I'm sort of stuck with "Mr." or "Ms." as the default. I don't really think there's any way around that.

Female Science Professor said...

Student: I agree -- just go with Professor if it's too awkward to do anything else, including referring to people as Firstname Lastname.

But I want to know who won (= "lost") the Academic Gifts game thing. Did anyone get an insanely high score?

HHH said...

Student: Just don't call them Mr by default. I am female with a foreign name and everything I receive is addressed to Dr or Prof or Mr... i do remember (not fondly) those who address me as Mr -- since I must be male to be a scientist...

There are some great "gift" ideas here. Can anyone add them to the app on facebook??

fitz said...

How about "Academic Advisee who Insists on Calling you Mrs. instead of Dr."?