Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Beginning (again)

It is the beginning of the school year on campus this week. It was the beginning last week as well for grad students and international undergrads - and essentially all summer, and this particular campus has optional "rolling" orientation programs that students can do during the summer to make the start of the school year calmer. But, after seeing the massive lines on campus yesterday, there really wasn't anything "calm" about it. I think physics professors could model it using chaos theory.

I went to a small undergrad institution (total population<4000)>

In the past few days, I have been asked on more than one occasion what my intended major is. the first time, I found this humorous - I just turned 30, I found many (far too many) gray hairs in the past year - I think they are mating - so it was more of an ego boost than anything. The second/third/fourth/etc time - not so funny. My response now - ten years ago, I majored in X. Now, I'm a professor of Y (my undergrad major and my faculty position are not in the same field).

I'm really not looking forward to teaching a classroom of guys.

The other thing that is interesting, and that many other female professors have noted in blogs and talks, is that while most of the administrative assistants call the other professors by Prof. X or Dr. Y, I'm called by my first name. Even in emails, I'm addressed by my first name and the other professors are Prof. X. However, the other profs have picked up on this, and have started calling me Prof (which is really awkward - imagine calling your labmate Dr. or Prof. - it just seems unnecessarily formal), but I know they are doing it to try to get across the point that I'm a Dr. too, which is nice. But it is kind of annoying that this is even necessary.

In any case, I emailed the Dean (technically, the assistant to the Dean) to let him know that I could attend. But, I think it will be interesting to see how the actual freshman react - not the seniors who are quite arrogant - but then that is typically of seniors. Maybe they will still be in awe of an actual professor - and not hung up on if a professor looks like a "professor". Or maybe I should just go get an Einstein costume...


Anonymous said...

The undergrad geniuses in my lab realized after 1 year of being around me (calling me by my first name) that I am indeed a PhD and therefore calling EVERY OTHER PhD on the floor "Dr. SoAndSo" COULD apply to me. It could. Yes, Virginia, it could be that a woman PhD does exist on the floor of men.

GirlProf said...

Best of luck on your first semester as an assistant professor -- I have enjoyed many of your posts, and will keep checking back.
From another girl professor

AsstFemaleProf said...

Thanks - good luck to you as well.