Thursday, January 15, 2009

Professor Etiquette

We are all familiar with a professor's role in the classroom. Some Professors incite feelings of respect, enthusiasm, and fear, and some all three at the same time. Personally, it is rare for me to meet a Professor that I do not respect. (Ok, really, that respect might just be an insecure and deep fear for all types of authority- I wonder if that says something about my childhood?). But this doesn't mean I want to be friends with them.

So what do you do when you meet a professor outside of the classroom. Or outside of the lawschool even? Not all law professors are the type that make you want to run up and exclaim an enthusiastic "hi" to them when you see them in their street clothes. Those of us who have undergone massive amounts of traumatic socratic method can attest to that.

I had this one law professor who dressed really crazy. I mean he wore suits that were one to two sizes too big for him and he frequently paired plaids with stripes. The rumor about him was that he was gay- but we wondered how this could be when he lacked the necessary fashion sense. this professor seemed nice enough but he gave a brutal final exam and tortured us endlessly with the socratic method. Well, one day when I was walking around downtown Seattle on my lunch break, I spotted him across the street. He was wearing jeans and a wife beater. It was not attractive. It didn't even seem like a SEMI DECENT outfit for a distinguished and intelligent professor of the law.

The second I recognized him, I did an immediate 180 degree spin and marched as fast as I could in the opposite direction. I wanted to avoid him as much as I wanted to avoid gangrenous boils across my face.

Last semester, I had an amazing professor for my construction law class. Have you ever used "ratemyprofessor.com"? Well this professor wasn't just smart and nice and funny. He was hot! I'm talking a major multiple chili-pepper rating. I was in mad and deep love with this professor. But then my class ended and I forgot all about him. UNTIL I caught my bus home from the ferry and saw him sitting in the back. My heart overflowed with intense feelings of a familiar lust and, without thinking, I shouted from across a busy bus, "Hi Professor Smith! I was in your Construction Law class last semester. That was a great class! I want to have your babies!" Ok so maybe that last sentence was not expressed verbally but you get the point. I made a complete fool out of myself. And now I have to face him twice a week on that very same bus route.

So what is the APPROPRIATE response when you run into a professor outside of school?

8 comments:

JD Maybe said...

I get excited when I see professors I like but I usually just quiety say, Hi professor and keep walking. That is funny and I def. have authority complexes too which includes respecting them and crushing on them constantly...lol

Portia said...

Haha. I have this SAME PROBLEM!! Just last Saturday I ran into my "superstar" 1L professor at Costco not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES. And once he was right next to me picking out prepared sandwiches... He's one of my absolute favorites but I'm sure he has no idea who I am so I just ignored him. But by the third time I felt weird about it. I'll be interested to hear what other people have to say!!

The Exit said...

Personally, I am opposed to even recognizing my professors as human beings. That said, my professor-outside-of-school reaction ranges from hugging them to pretending that they are squirrels, in which case I just shoo them away with a kind gesture.

Anonymous said...

Unless they know who I am by name, I say nothing and keep moving along.

PT-LawMom said...

Hilarious! I have yet to meet one I really like, although I did have a female professor I enjoyed. Some of my classmates have added our Contracts professor as their Facebook friend which I think is a bit odd but whatever.

gudnuff said...

Guess you can leave the eyelash curler at home. So no personal grooming on public transit for you!

newduck said...

I'm the wrong person to ask. One of my law school professors was my birth coach (female, thankfully).

Trannyhead said...

I'm probably also the wrong person to ask ... I have had dinner at professors' houses and gone drinking with them.