Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Academic Gifts, Part 2

Below you will find a continuation of yesterday's post. Give yourself 1 point if the listed item (derived from some Academic Gifts created by someone else on Facebook) is or has been relevant to your life, zero if not. My personal points are indicated in the list. At the end of this fascinating exercise, we can all compare notes.

1 ... Horrendous Conference Hotel Room

1 ... Another Master's Thesis Defense

1 ... Creepy Visiting Faculty Member

1 ... Disastrous Hotel Room Interview (I am still dealing with the emotional scars from one of these in the early 90's)

1 ... Overburdened Administrative Assistant (well, some of them are.. another is a hostile zombie)

1 ... Creepy, Overzealous Textbook Reps (some are overzealous and aggressive, some are passive, some are passive-aggressive)

1 ... Colleague Who Stands Too Close (I include here the ones who give unsolicited hugs.. and more)

1 ... Confusing Library Stacks (Yes, I do go to the real, physical library from time to time)

0 ... Library Toilet Cubicle (???)

0 ... Accrued Library Fines (I don't have any, but one of my graduating students recently realized that you can't graduate if you don't pay these and the library at some point figures out the value of each unreturned book and counts that in the fine and science books are expensive.)

1 ... Dead-Grandmother Excuse

1 ... No-climate-control Office Space (though it sorts of depends on what you mean by 'control')

1 ... Ancient Fluorescent Office Lighting

0 ... Doctor-prescribed Mood Stabilizers (I get my caffeine over the counter)

0 ... Student Who Supplies Other "Mood Stabilizers" (??)

1 ... Standard, Machine-read Faculty Evaluation Form (though some courses have online evals)

0 ... Bored S.O. Dragged to Department Party

1 ... Pile of Overdue Book Reviews (substitute Manuscripts/Proposals for Book Reviews.. I only have 2 right now, is that a pile?)

1 ... Hefty Merit Pay Raise (well, I've gotten these in the past once or twice; I'll give myself a point here, but I'd rather have a raise, any raise)

0 ... Faculty Parking Lot Closed for Home Game (this used to be an issue at one university but I would tell the parking attendant that my lab was going to blow up and kill lots of people if I didn't get to it really really soon and they always let me in free)

1 ... Rejected Grant Application

1 ... Annoying Full Mailboxes of Colleagues on Leave (more annoying are the full mailboxes of colleagues not on leave)

0 ... Adjunct Faculty Appointment

0 ... 8 AM Class

0 ... Friday Evening Conference Session

0 ... Student with a Crush

0 ... Shared Office Space (except when I was on sabbatical..)

1 ... Helicopter Parents

1 ... Colleague Who Knows Roberts Rules of Order by Heart

1 ... Contentious Faculty Meetings

1 ... Awkward Department Cocktail Party (or other social functions)

1 ... Egregious Vanity Publication (The FSP Book!)

0 ... Inherited Filing System

1 ... Two Big (Male) Egos Vying in a Department Meeting (this would be entertaining if it didn't make the meetings longer; I added the parentheses to Male, by the way.)

1 ... Unreasonable Committee Demands (but there is hope)

1 ... Coach Who Makes Roughly 50X as Much as You

1 ... Hiring Freeze

0 ... Excessive Tenure Requirements

1 ... Awkward Spousal Hiring Scenario

1 ... Two-Body Problem

1 ... Mandatory Department Photo for Website (or other purposes, none of which are likely to be particularly effective as a recruiting tool for students, or anyone for that matter)

1 ... Non-academic Friends Who Think You Have Summers Off (and relatives!)

My score so far: 50/67
More to come tomorrow.. there are an insane number of these gifts on Facebook.


Susan B. Anthony said...

I lost track of my score because I was laughing so hard at "Colleague Who Knows Roberts Rules of Order by Heart."

Female Science Professor said...

In that case, I'm afraid I may have deduct a random number of points from your total if you cannot concentrate on this exam.

Susan B. Anthony said...

But... but I REALLY NEED an A on this exam!

Okay, I recounted: I'm at 47. Glad I still have a few things to look forward to (or not).

Geena said...

"Dead-Grandmother Excuse" is a bit nasty! My Nan died while I was in final year and I was always very close to her so it really did have an impact on my year--I'd like to think that the supervisor with whom I was doing my final year project at the time understood that I was quite sincerely deeply upset :( Anyway, not to get melodramatic....I'm quite surprised how high I scored on this "exam"!

Anonymous said...

You never taught an 8am class? That is interesting!

Odyssey said...

Woohoo! I only have 47 points!

Kevin said...

Another 7, bringing me to 17.
Somehow this group did not resonate as much with me.

EuropeanFemaleScienceProfessor said...

You have never had an 8 A.M. class? I have had one every semester (one semester I had two) except for this one. There was a scheduling error and I graciously agreed to have my 8 A.M. moved to 12 noon. I have felt like I am goofing off this past semester!

I have not been willing to accept these "gifts" in the past, but you are making them look good. Now who made these up, the people locked up over at the compound at RateYourStudents?

Anonymous said...

Student with a crush?! As if.

On the other hand, this is probably (depressingly) common for male faculty. Or at least, I bet male faculty think so. Sounds like a good subject for a survey.

The History Enthusiast said...

Since I'm only a grad student, I'm glad my score is a little lower. My total is only 33.

I particularly love the "shite gift" about bad florescent lighting...I got that one a while back from my office mate and had a good laugh.

Anonymous said...

I'm up to 46 now. Some of the ones I didn't get are ones I wish for. I could do with some of the student crushes my male colleagues are always on the receiving end of (at least, they seem to enjoy it). And I wouldn't mind a student trying to sell me a little pot -- surely it would make grading more pleasant?

ME said...

Does a hot tamale rating on Rate my professor count as a student crush?

Does your parking lot being closed for a stupid carnival every year count for the home game parking?

I also love the Roberts Rules question, although I have to say I'm now more familiar with them than I would like.

As for the dead grandma, I do find it suspect when this excuse is invoked more than 1 time per semester (possible, but not likely).

Anonymous said...

Do you get extra points for unusual numbers of incidences- I had 3 dead grandmas in a 5 week summer sesssion! Unfortunately at least 2 were real...

Female Science Professor said...

These pathetic attempts to get extra credit are not going to succeed.

Anonymous said...

What on earth are helicopter parents?

And I can't wait for the one which says, pulled aside by customs to search for no-doubt-illegal biological substances.

Female Science Professor said...

Helicopter parents were on the study guide.

Female Science Professor said...

A recent comment requesting substitution of Star Trek fans for Dorky Medievalists seems to have gone astray. I approve this substitution if the Star Trek fans are truly rabid.

Anonymous said...

I'd bet whether you know it, at least 1 student has had a crush on you FSP.

A TA friend of mine had a student with a "crush" who proceeded to essentially stalk her. Thankfully, he backed off after she got married...

Anonymous said...

Can we make up our own? Here are some recent ones from my neck of the woods:

Teeth-Rattling Construction Outside Office Window

Paralyzing Data Loss due to Hardware Failure

Phone Call from Unknown Student

Last-Minute Letter of Recommendation Request

Massive Deadline, Unresponsive Collaborators

Interminable Email Discussion

Unnecessary Daylong Training Session


Anonymous said...

Disastrous Hotel Room Interview

Sorry, it's the first time I hear such a thing..
Did they actually hold interview in a regular hotel room? Like, one with a bed in it?

Female Science Professor said...

Yeah, I wasn't sure how to answer the 'crush' thing. I did have one admirer/stalker, but that didn't quite seem to fit. And there were some students (when I was younger) who asked me out to bars and parties, but that doesn't necessarily = crush.

And we are definitely going to need to suggest new Academic Gifts by the time this is all done. I would definitely send a Last-Minute Recommendation Request gift to certain people.

Anonymous said...

Lusenok: yep, hotel room interviews are common at some conferences. It is a lot quieter than the big interview room with all the tables. At least in my field, they encourage departments to get suites, so the interview room doesn't have a bed in it, but lots of departments ignore this recommendation. I had one interview where one of the interviewers put his dirty stocking feet up on the coffee table, right in front of me, and sat back eating a huge sandwich the entire time. It became clear as the interview went on that he thought I was an idiot and the interview was a waste of time, but I managed not to get flustered. (Proud of myself for that one!)

Anonymous said...

what are Helicopter Parents ?

Anonymous said...

About the "Mandatory Department Photo for Website" these are actually extremely useful for placing names on faces, or vice-versa.

I am notoriously poor at remembering names and faces, and I have been trying to identify one of the professors with whom I spent 2 hours talking a few weeks ago at some event, but thanks to crappy and/or non existent faculty photos, I have to ask colleagues who are familiar with that professor's department to try to help me guess the identity of that professor. I remember in details the conversation we had - but I just plain suck at remembering people's name. Not fun.