Author Topic: S/O PD Student Darwinism  (Read 181894 times)

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AngelicGamer

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #495 on: July 17, 2013, 01:03:36 PM »
If it was racist level of spewing, then yes, Andy deserves what he got.  And that's if he's drunk or not.  Racism is wrong and I do agree with hard lines on that.  However, if this is a bit more "oh she's a woman and x,y,z are wrong", then why not talk with him and persuade him?  I think someone is very thin skinned to be in academia and not stand up to the occasional idiot who thinks they're not level minded based on gender. 

I am going on what AnnaJ has posted.  It seemed, to me, more of Professor Z being a woman and being wrong than racism.  To go to the level that it has, over one time of being a bit drunk, seems overkill.  It's also the reason that I don't want to go into academia - I cannot be on stage all the time like that, as a student or a professor. 




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Twik

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #496 on: July 17, 2013, 01:20:27 PM »
It seemed, to me, more of Professor Z being a woman and being wrong than racism.

So, sexism is fine, racism is not?

I can't see much difference between, "Oh Professor Z is Orange ethnicity, and too stupid to understand her own field," versus "Oh, Professor Z is female, and too stupid to understand her own field."
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AngelicGamer

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #497 on: July 17, 2013, 01:38:24 PM »
It seemed, to me, more of Professor Z being a woman and being wrong than racism.

So, sexism is fine, racism is not?

I can't see much difference between, "Oh Professor Z is Orange ethnicity, and too stupid to understand her own field," versus "Oh, Professor Z is female, and too stupid to understand her own field."

Nope.  I do know, from my friends who either are in academia or tried to get into it, that a lot of times, the argument of being a woman is used against them.  It's usually by male professors to my female friends to see how they will handle it.  It's not cool and it shouldn't be tolerated, but my friends let it roll off their backs and argue their point.  In all cases I've heard about, the male professor has respected them more for arguing the point that they're trying to make more than saying that the male professor is being sexist.  Yes, this is more of a professor saying something to a student rather than the other way around and I'm not saying that it's right.  Sexism and racism do not have any room in any professional world but it does happen.  I just think that Professor Z should have handed it better based only on what AnnaJ has told us. 

I'm also not saying that Professor Z didn't have a right to be angry.  I just think that the hammer could have come down on Andy differently from Professor Z herself defending her research and showing she's at the top of her field.  It really leaves a bad taste in my mouth that she just went to Professor X.  Maybe she had gone to Professor X but said "I'll take care of it, but this is what your student is doing", I would have liked what happened to Andy a bit more.  Taking the story as it is, I don't like it and it feels weird to me.  I just hope that I've explained it best from my point of view.




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Jocelyn

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #498 on: July 17, 2013, 02:27:05 PM »
I'm also not saying that Professor Z didn't have a right to be angry.  I just think that the hammer could have come down on Andy differently from Professor Z herself defending her research and showing she's at the top of her field.  It really leaves a bad taste in my mouth that she just went to Professor X.  Maybe she had gone to Professor X but said "I'll take care of it, but this is what your student is doing", I would have liked what happened to Andy a bit more.  Taking the story as it is, I don't like it and it feels weird to me.  I just hope that I've explained it best from my point of view.

IIRC, the OP didn't state for certain that Professor Z was the source of the information. Perhaps someone else saw it, and told X that his RA was acting inappropriately.
If X lost a research grant, and was unable to maintain his stable of RAs at the current level, who should he choose to not renew? He may have made a choice between Andy and another RA, who had not misbehaved in public.  As for the letters of reference, I'm not going to say that a person is a wonderful candidate if I know things about them that would make me reluctant to hire them myself- and yes, I'd think twice about hiring Andy. He'd need to have some stellar skills, and some contrition, and for all we know, he's average or below average in skills. What the next Einstein can get forgiven, the next Alfred E. Newman cannot.

MindsEye

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #499 on: July 17, 2013, 03:12:17 PM »
I'm also not saying that Professor Z didn't have a right to be angry.  I just think that the hammer could have come down on Andy differently from Professor Z herself defending her research and showing she's at the top of her field.  It really leaves a bad taste in my mouth that she just went to Professor X.  Maybe she had gone to Professor X but said "I'll take care of it, but this is what your student is doing", I would have liked what happened to Andy a bit more.  Taking the story as it is, I don't like it and it feels weird to me.  I just hope that I've explained it best from my point of view.

IIRC, the OP didn't state for certain that Professor Z was the source of the information. Perhaps someone else saw it, and told X that his RA was acting inappropriately.


That is a very good point.

This took place at the hotel bar at a major, crowded conference... I am sure that there were people in that bar other then just Andy and Professor Z.  He probably treated dozens of people to his diatribe.

Makes me wonder how many people reported to Professor X that his student was behaving in a completely inappropriate and offensive manner... 

Also... I wonder who was Andy saying those "pretty nasty things" to?  I doubt that he was talking to himself. 

Garden Goblin

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #500 on: July 17, 2013, 03:57:40 PM »
It's usually by male professors to my female friends to see how they will handle it.  It's not cool and it shouldn't be tolerated, but my friends let it roll off their backs and argue their point.  In all cases I've heard about, the male professor has respected them more for arguing the point that they're trying to make more than saying that the male professor is being sexist.

While this is a lovely sentiment I am sure, if I took the time to 'argue the point' with every individual who thought the fact that I am a woman means I can't code/hunt/play video games/handle basic logic/use a computer/build something/plumb/rewire/check the oil/handle finances/write a good sci-fi story/understand higher math/comprehend science/hammer a nail, I wouldn't have any time left in the day to code/hunt/play video games/handle basic logic/use a computer/build something/plumb/rewire/check the oil/handle finances/write a good sci-fi story/understand higher math/comprehend science/hammer a nail/sleep.  It's much faster, quicker, and more effective in the long run to ensure there are actual consequences for the one engaging in the bad behavior rather than just further consequences for the victim by saddling them with the responsibility of patiently, carefully, and above all nicely explaining to the jerk why they are being a jerk.

I have some small pity for Andy that he got to be the example made, but regret far more that there needed to be an example made in the first place.  Engaging in racist/sexist or otherwise bigoted behavior should always be a case of student/professional darwinism.

ladyknight1

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #501 on: July 17, 2013, 04:13:03 PM »
Sexist behavior would have Andy out on his ear here as well. It is not tolerated.

TurtleDove

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #502 on: July 17, 2013, 04:16:54 PM »
After I graduated, he married one of the students in my class (I ran into them some fifteen years later, still married, with children, and working together in a small business).  He was fired immediately - apparently whether or not he started dating her after graduation or before, he wasn't allowed to marry a former student some five or six years his junior (she would have started as a freshman about the time he started his first or second year of teaching). 

Based on what? Was she a minor?  I know plenty of teachers who have married former students without getting fired because of it.

Twik

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #503 on: July 17, 2013, 05:13:23 PM »
I'm also not saying that Professor Z didn't have a right to be angry.  I just think that the hammer could have come down on Andy differently from Professor Z herself defending her research and showing she's at the top of her field.

Why should she have to show some punk kid that she, who wrote the textbook, is "at the top of her field"?

You say such behaviour "shouldn't be tolerated," but then object to people not tolerating it. Who is not going to tolerate it, if not the people involved?

A graduate student who has deep and vocal bigotry is not going to be shown the error of his/her ways by Professor Z coming up and showing "Here's my proof why Z=MC x Sqrt P. See? You agree I'm right about this? Great, we'll be friends now." Graduate students are adults, and if they haven't figured out yet that you can't judge a brain by the physical container it's in, it's not going to happen in a sudden revelation that hey, the person who everyone else considers an expert in the field, really is an expert, despite her gender, or ethnicity, or whatever.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2013, 05:15:23 PM by Twik »
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Dazi

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #504 on: July 17, 2013, 05:38:35 PM »
Professional behavior is very important, even for college students when around people who are not just peers but influential in academia. What I have noticed about many professors (not all) is that they think of themselves as a separate level from students and it is their duty to monitor and report student behavior when it is out of bounds. I do not feel sorry for Andy at all.

It is important to remember to always act your best and put your most professional foot forward at all times.  It does not matter how great you are at everything else.  People remember the screw ups above all else.

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Hillia

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #505 on: July 17, 2013, 05:57:32 PM »
Professional behavior is very important, even for college students when around people who are not just peers but influential in academia. What I have noticed about many professors (not all) is that they think of themselves as a separate level from students and it is their duty to monitor and report student behavior when it is out of bounds. I do not feel sorry for Andy at all.

It is important to remember to always act your best and put your most professional foot forward at all times.  It does not matter how great you are at everything else.  People remember the screw ups above all else.

The company I work for now stresses that even outside of work, we represent our company (and we do have a morality clause that applies to conduct outside of our employment).

Exactly.  Why should any academic take a chance on having someone like that represent them and their program in public?  What if this were a reception for the board of trustees, or a fundraiser?  Appropriate public behavior should be a skill you've mastered by the time you're in grad school. It's not up to your instructors to teach you basic manners.

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VorFemme

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #506 on: July 17, 2013, 06:29:35 PM »
After I graduated, he married one of the students in my class (I ran into them some fifteen years later, still married, with children, and working together in a small business).  He was fired immediately - apparently whether or not he started dating her after graduation or before, he wasn't allowed to marry a former student some five or six years his junior (she would have started as a freshman about the time he started his first or second year of teaching). 

Based on what? Was she a minor?  I know plenty of teachers who have married former students without getting fired because of it.

There might have been a racial/nationality overtone - this was in the 1970s, he was a very good looking young man of Latin extraction (and taller than expected) while she was a blue eyed blonde.  He didn't look like a young Dezi Arnez but he had that charm, accent, and "exotic good looks" thing going....

And this was in Texas in the 1970s......most of my class was either 18 (and a legal adult) by graduation - a few other turned 18 after graduation - so she was probably not a "minor".
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AnnaJ

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #507 on: July 17, 2013, 10:26:58 PM »
It wasn't about Professor Z's race, but her book did deal with the history of a particular race and Andy disagreed with her thesis and conclusion - which was an issue, because Prof Z's view is considered standard for our area of history.  I doubt that she told Prof X that he should punish Andy...honestly I think that Prof X was embarrassed. 

Most professors are extremely careful about introductions - I've seen professors with 8 or 10 students at a conference only introduce one to a professor who is well-known in the field (meaning they've published a major book or other work), because it's seen as a way to help a student and the affect would be diluted by introducing all of the students (not saying I agree, but it's a fact). 

So Prof X wasn't exactly innocent, but he had major pull in the department so got his way, and Andy did himself no favors by trying to defend what he did instead of apologize.

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #508 on: July 18, 2013, 12:48:39 PM »
He got bombed and ran his mouth at a conference for people in his field. I'm not surprised he wasn't renewed. You trash the boss's friend and equal when you're a grad student, you're going to get in trouble. No sympathy, especially since he didn't apologize.
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AngelicGamer

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #509 on: July 18, 2013, 02:23:31 PM »
I agree with people saying that he got what he deserved now that we know everything.  If I had known that he didn't even try apologizing in the first place, I wouldn't have brought up my argument at all.




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