Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Heard on the Quad

I'm walking on the quad at Duke, leaving the Perk. Four young women talking in a cluster. Imagine a kind of Dopler effect in the following, as I walk past, and hear the following snippet:

"I can't believe she called on her like that."

"She always calls people out; I hate that."

"She calls on you if you make eye contact! It's terrible."

"But if you are looking down, she'll call on you. And she wants you to do the reading."

"I know! Such a witch!"

"I look almost at her, but a little off to the left. Stare like you are thinking. You want to look interested, but not too interested. That way, she won't call on you. She never calls on me."

And, by now I am out of earshot, receding. Feel free not to take any of my classes, ladies. I expect you to have done the readings, too.


Michelle said...

If they took your class, they might not mind that you expect them to do the readings, though.

I read a study that suggested that when women teach outside the expected gender role (that is, they have high expectations, call on people, and are not 'nuturing'), students punish them with lower teaching evals. Men are expected to have high standards/not be nuturing, so they are not called "witches." They are called good professors.

Interestingly, men who do not teach according to their gender role (that is, they are perceived to be 'warm and fuzzy' or nuturing) are rewarded by students.

So be a hardass. Your students expect it.

But if you're a woman, you should wear a fuzzy, pink sweater, lipstick, smile a lot, and be understanding when students just can't be bothered to read or participate. Or, suffer the eval consequences.

mungowits said...

Wow, Michelle, you totally called bullshit on me, and I bet you are right, too!

It had not occurred to me, but you are absolutely right. The young ladies were clearly talking about a young female professor.

Being an old, large man, I'm sure they would accept me acting the same way, or worse, and maybe even say that it was appropriate.

I had completely missed that.