So, I teach in a doctoral program. The most rewarding part of my job is helping my students to move forward in the process of realizing their dream of earning a Doctorate of Philosophy degree. For anyone who has gone through this process, you KNOW it’s a beast. There are many ups and a helluva lot of downs, but persistence is the key. I tell my students all the time that earning a Ph.D. is more about enduring through the potholes in the road along the journal than it is about intelligence. Besides, if someone admitted you into their doctoral program then chances are you are (or at least they believe that you are) intellectually equipped to complete the program. The question is whether or not you are disciplined and motivated enough to independently complete a full research project after completing your coursework.
However, occasionally I do run across a student or two who may not be intellectually equipped to complete the program. It makes you wonder HOW they’ve made it as far as they have in their academic journey. Oh, and I’m not talking about the hard workers who grind it out to make it through. That was me. I was that person. I didn’t have the complete skill set for my program when I started, but my advisor knew that I was a fast learner. She knew that I listened and so I was teachable. No, I’m not referring to those kind of students. I mean the ones who may have some prior knowledge deficiencies and make little to no attempt to work toward filling in the gap. But then there are also the students who just insist on doing things their way like they are the ones who are training me to obtain a degree. The ones who do not receive criticism well nor do they actually go and make the required changes for their work.
But today… I’ve gotten the occasion email that uses an entire sentence/question (or actually it’s been multiple sentences on some occasions) as the subject line of the email and then there’s nothing or just a phone number left in the actual email text area.
No greeting. No complete sentences. No salutation.
Did I mention I teach grown AF adults in a doctoral program?
This same student was emailing me from a personal account that legit resembled spam…so I tagged it as spam. Now, before you say maybe this person didn’t know. I am not the first college professor these students are encountering and I just cannot believe that other respectable faculty would allow this level of inadequate communication to persist when we are supposed to be teaching life skills in addition to basic content.
Stassi was like TF I’m supposed to do with this. But, Dr. Jones had to craft a respectable, professional response…so I sent a PDF titled “How to Use Proper Email Etiquette When Writing to Professor” just in case it is just me who likes to get proper subject line content and detailed email text when we are communicating using a written form. But don’t even get me started on the actual content part!
Maybe I should start a #professorlife series…
Stassi the professor.