Monday, March 05, 2007

Slightly odd professor behaviour irks, confuses grad student.

I attended a talk at the Munk Centre today. It was pretty interesting, worthwhile, etc. I'm glad that I went even if the topic isn't related to my dissertation. But I have a few complaints to make about some of the members of the audience. The older man sitting beside me sniffed the whole session. A lot. And it distracted me from the talk and, more importantly, seriously grossed me out. An occasional sniffle is fine, especially in this weather, but, dude, c'mon: get a tissue. I'm befuddled that he didn't quietly leave the room and blow his noise. There's a washroom down the hall. He was known to many of the people in the room, so he is clearly a professor of some sort. Didn't his mother ever teach him to blow his noise when it was stuffed up? Ick.

The chair of the session fiddled around a bit with a laptop throughout the talk. She was being quiet about it, but---and again I express my bewilderment---the computer kept beeping when she opened and closed the screen, and when she plugged and unplugged various cables. Why she didn't mute the sound after the first or second beep, I will never understand. She was sitting right beside the speaker, and it was kinda rude! (She also whispered a couple comments to the man on her other side during the talk.)

A third older professor type had both a computer which beeped a couple times and a cell phone which rang half-way through the talk. He immediately turned the phone off . . . except he actually didn't, since a minute later the thing vibrated in his pocket---very loudly. Sigh. I am unimpressed by these professors. Why do they behave this way?

Among those of us who were well-behaved were the two historians in the room. I don't mean to imply that all historians are better than all other people, but recent personal experience does tend to lead me in that direction . . . . ;-)

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