There is a student in the department that for some reason, calls me by my first name even though he calls all the other professors Dr. ____. At first I assumed it's because I'm young and cool and whatever, but, today I learned differently.
Our freshman orientation classes are doing a video scavenger hunt. One of the questions is to tape a professor introducing themselves. This student (not a freshman, but one of the "student mentors" assigned to a group of several first-year students) was leading his group of freshmen past my office, and I overheard the following conversation:
Student: Can we ask her?
Mentor: The scavenger hunt sheet says FACULTY MEMBER.
Student: Isn't she a faculty member?
Mentor: You have to be a Doctor. She's not a Doctor. Let's ask Dr. _____.
Some years ago, I saw a portrait of Avogadro. It made me think about how so many geniuses are kind of hard to look at . . . and so many beautiful people - well, you know, maybe they don't have to learn to use their brain. Anyway, sometimes when I do something particularly stupid, I joke to myself, "I must be really pretty today."
But, seriously, I do wonder why that student made the assumption that I am not a faculty member. I have my own office. I teach classes. I advise graduate students. But I don't look quite as old and nerdy as some of the other faculty members. Or is it something else?
3 weeks ago