Monday, August 12, 2013

Small Town

Dr. S and I both go to the university's gym: both very fancy, and freeeeee.  He has a locker in the faculty locker room, where he has apparently met about half the male faculty so far - in the buff.   He much prefers introductions while all parties are wearing pants.  (In either sense.)

A couple weeks ago at Dr. S's office, another professor dragged out his summer students - "Here, meet your new biochemistry professor, Dr. Scientist!"  Partly to be amusing and partly to make a point, I introduced myself to the students as, "I'm also Dr. Scientist, but I won't be teaching you in the fall, so please call me J."

Last time I was at the gym, I ran into two of his future students.  One of them referred to my spouse as "Mr. Dr. Scientist", as in "I emailed Mr. Dr. Scientist" - all the professors here are Dr. So-And-So, and heaven forbid the students should call them by their first names.  (The South, you know.)  So I suppose by extension I'm Mrs. Dr. Scientist.  I doubt any of them will call me by my first name. The mind boggles.

A friend then pointed out that the alternative was "Mrs. Scientist", which would be even worse.

(I gave the students a ride home, too, because it started pouring down rain.  Small towns: if you don't meet someone you know, every single time you leave the house, you're doing it wrong.)

8 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, that is hilarious. I admit, I've never come across that form of address before.

    My great-uncle passed away last week, so I picked Patrick up from the airport (from is second work trip in two weeks) and we drove 4 hrs to the visitation in the Small Town I was born in. (Which is even smaller than the town I graduated HS from.). I met his two 50 year-old children, and had the Exact same conversation with both of them. "You look like a H (my maiden name). Who is your mother?" I explained that my father is K, their first cousin. "Ah, yes! We are so glad he will be singing tomorrow, it's what Dad wanted."

    On the upside, I met some cousins who run a small dairy operation, who told me about the annual H family reunion every Fourth of July. Also, C1 and C2 played with some third cousins in the church basement during the services.

    Small towns. If you stay there long enough, you might even become a native!

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    1. It's like the English version of Frau Doktor. Except then I suppose the spouse would be Herr Doktor Professor. Anyhow.

      I know what you mean about natives and small towns.

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    2. "Frau Doktor" is a tricky one, the meaning depends on location!
      Germany = female person who has a PH.D./MD.
      Austria = Wife of a "Herr Doktor", no academic qualification needed!
      (So this could actually be some kind of an insult for the wife, if she has done all the hard academic work, thank you very much. A woman with her "own" PhD should be addressed "Frau Doktorin", which sounds rather unelegant, but I guess, it makes things clear.)

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    3. Well, now I've learned something new! Especially in case I should ever go to Austria. :)

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  2. I the practice at the university down the way is to reserve Dr. for the medical doctors and calling everyone else by their first name or, if called on the carpet about performance, Ms/Mr. It's a learning curve for the other Drs who very much deserve and worked very hard for the title. It also could be born of arrogance - well, aren't we ALL Drs? In any case, it's an interesting twist.

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    1. Hmph. That would give me an *excellent* opportunity to break out my "It's Dr. Scientist, bitch" when people tried it on me. This is what comes of having too many MDs in one place.

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  3. I say you should CUT anyone who doesn't address you as Dr. Maybe go around wearing a tshirt that says "I HAVE A PHD EVEN THOUGH I AM A WOMAN, BITCHES!" But for serious, these sound like charming kids. Er, students.

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    1. I do have the PhD comics "Doctor.. Of Philosophy" t-shirt (gift from my sister who also has a PhD) but I think it's only funny to people with PhDs. Sadly.

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