Thursday, November 19, 2009

Your GradFlakes Hate You. TA Trixie From Tulsa Opens a Can of Whup'Ass.

You may have tenure. You may control whether we can join your wonderful PhD club. But your grad flakes know who you're diddling, which of your collegues hate you, and that you only have two sport coats, both of which smell like cigarettes and fish. Please to enjoy.


Dr. Smirkington: Every time you speak, whether in class, asking a question at a job talk, or during office hours, you’ve got this weird smirk that implies you’re smarter than who ever you’re talking to. You’re a actually a pretty nice person and the things you say aren’t mean, but one person giving a job talk almost had a breakdown after you asked a question, and all the grad students avoid your seminars because you treat everyone like morons. You don’t have any advisees because all the grad students think you’re a jerk.

Prof. Smackdown: You’re the biggest name in your field, and everyone in the department fears your wrath and lusts after your letters of recommendation. But all you talk about in class is how much better your book is than the one we’re reading, or the time you had lunch with the author, or how hard things were back when you were in grad school and how much better all of us young ingrates have it now. Your advisees look shell-shocked all the time, and often weep quietly in their offices after a meeting with you.

Dr. McSexist: You have packed seminars and a devoted clique of advisees who beat down any criticism of you when the grad students talk about you behind your back. You always get stuck with the required graduate intro seminar because the rest of the faculty hate you and how you treat women faculty--unfortunately, it’s the same as you treat the women grad students. You assigned only one book by a female scholar, and then spent the entire class mocking it and feminism. You also asked the two Japanese-American grad students about Chinese, Korean and Thai history and politics all semester--even though neither of them study China, Korea, Thailand, or even Japan. Your advisees are rabid, devoted, and just as racist and sexist as you.

Prof. Buddy: Also known as “Call-me-Buddy-we’re-really-just-peers.” We’re close to peers because you’re untenured and you’ll probably only be in the department as long as most of the grad students. You only have one advisee because most of us have been smart enough to listen to the rumors saying that you won’t get tenure and will be out of here before most of us defend. Your grades on research papers and seminars mean less because you come into class late and tell us about how hung over you are--and then ask the class out for beer on Tuesday nights. How'd you even get out of grad school, let alone graduate college?

Dr. Secrets: None of the grad students know what to think of you. You don’t return emails, you have office hours in the middle of the night, you make no comments during seminar and you never have a TA. The faculty has never seen you at a conference, no one has ever seen an article or book by you, and yet you have tenure. Sometimes we wonder if you actually work here, or if you’re just some random person the department hasn’t caught on to yet. You have a couple of advisees who don’t know what you think of them, and only hear through rumors from other grad students where you’ll be or if you’ve read their work.