Tuesday, December 10, 2013

For future reference

Next year's syllabus will include a list of inappropriate email salutations for professor-student correspondence.

#1 "Hey is it cool if..."

No.  I don't know what you are going to ask me, but it is not "cool".

#2 "I have cramps/am vomiting/have a hangover."

No.  "I am unwell and will miss class today" will do JUST FINE.

#3 "Can't find it."

I assume you are referring to the file I directed you to on the Google Drive in class today.  But if you insist on speaking to me the same way my seven year old does when I ask him about his coat, you won't be surprised when I respond "Keep looking."

#4 "Nope.  Still can't find it."

Are you freaking kidding me?

#5 "Hey!"

Is for horses!

#6 "Dude."


#7 "Miss Academomia."

I have a doctorate in engineering and this is not Mad Men.

Because believe me, you don't want me to be annoyed before I even get to the substance of your email, yes?


Sarah said...

SO FUNNY! You are probably kidding about including email stuff in the syllabus, but I have found that it works really well to just model the crap out of the formality you expect. When you respond really properly and formally to a text-like email, people usually get the message.

sarah said...

Dude??!!! NO way! LOL That is insane. I would have cut my tongue out with a rusty spoon before referring to a professor as "dude" when I was in college.

CP said...

OMG. I would have DIED before I ever addresses a professor like that. What is wrong with kids today?!?!

Chiconky said...

Love it!

Anne said...

Ack seriously! I recently got a cold email from somebody looking for a job addressed to "Mrs [my last name]. Mrs [my last name] is my mother or my deceased grandmother. I could tell he had looked at my linked in profile, so he should have known I have a doctorate. Also if he had done even a teeny bit more homework he should have figured out that the company I work for does nothing even remotely related to his background...

Brooke said...

Oh, I seriously have this conversation with my students when I distribute the syllabus. It's a section I label "e-mail etiquette" and I tell them it applies to every professor they have. I make them tell me what a proper salutation is and I say that I won't respond to e-mails that are unprofessional and don't have a signature line. (I haven't had as much luck with modeling it for them.) And I talk briefly about the difference between Dr./Professor/Ms./Miss/Mrs. (especially annoying for me since Mrs. Taylor is my mom). I make them tell me why it's important to call people (professors, potential employers, business contacts) by the correct title (I often like to make reference to patriarchy and sexist assumptions also). It's an annoying thing to spend 5 minutes on in class, but it's brand new info for many of them.

I have also replied to students and said simply, "Please see the syllabus for my expectation of e-mail correspondence." It seems kinda bitchy, but I tell myself it's good for them. They have to know their rhetorical situation, right?

Sharon said...

Hear, hear! I think I need to start having this discussion on the first day as well. It saddens me that so many students seem never to have been taught these things, but it's better that they learn in my class than that they continue to make the same mistakes. At least after I tell them, they'll have no excuse.

Erica said...

I've seen it argued that a JD is a doctorate-level degree, so I'm still going to feel free to refer to you as Dude. As a peer.

Anonymous said...

How about emails from students you've never met which address you by your first name? I don't want any students to address me by my first name (when yes, I have a doctorate as well), let alone students who don't even know me. Sigh