Sunday, October 12, 2008

Nicholas Nothaughty from Norfolk Doth Require to Quench His Noble Thirst, and Thus Wonders, "What's in a Name?"

Truly, I am not an arrogant person. I really am fairly humble. And I'm not being ironic. I went to grad school because I, quite simply, wanted to learn more about my discipline. I finsihed my program on time, passed my defense, and am now out on the job market. (The latter of those three only bolsters my humility, considering that I have yet to land a job.)

I do teach as an adjunct, and even in my teaching, I remain humble. I truly believe that I can learn from my students, and I look forward to class becuase I consider it one of the most thought-provoking parts of my day.

I list myself as Dr. Nothaughty on the top of my syllabus, and when I introduce myself to my students, I tend to call myself either Dr. Nothaughty or Professor Nothaughty. However, despite all of that, I still get students--semester after semester--who address me as Mr. Nothaughty.

And my blood bolis every time that they do that. Since I work in a "hip" department, where so many professors like to be called by their first names, I feel like quite a prick demanding that my students address me as Doctor or Professor; in fact I never do that. But honestly, if I've earned anything it's the titular distinction that comes with having a Ph.D., and I want my students to recognize that. I'm not looking for fame and glory. I just want to be addressed as professor. How can I make my lovely students realize that they should address me as such, without sounding like an arrogant ass?