So I went to talk to this professor from another department, whom at first glance seemed sooo nice and enthusiastic and talkative when he taught a class this week, and I thought, hey, here is somebody that might be able to be supportive and understanding regarding some problems in my department. Hah.

So, our conversation begins about a certain academic topic that I am researching (nothing to do with department issues) and immediately professor cuts me short and poses a question that cannot be answered in a soundbyte about said topic. So I start answering the question, and the professor does not even wait for me to finish the god-damn first sentence and cuts in again and starts blabbering something else about the topic that came to his mind. I feel flustered that I am not given space to talk. After some blabbering, said professor, now slightly impatient and irritated with me for not having answered his initial question, repeats again the first question, as if I were not listening or not politely addressing his request for an answer. So, I take a deep breath and begin the answer for the second time around. And guess what ??? The fricking professor immediately interrupts me again, saying something completely distorted, as a result that he wouldn’t let me clarify all his wrong assumptions about what he thought I was trying to say.

At this point, I was feeling like I was in quicksand, and sinking quickly. It is always a horrible experience to go talk to someone that you expect to be nice and you find yourself dealing with a horrible unexpected opposite reality. « Is this frigging idiot going to shut up and let me say anything or is he going to cut in everytime I try to open my mouth and not let me speak ?!! »

So, after like 5 rounds of trying to speak, he finally let me say two complete sentences which were not nearly enough to answer the first question adequately, but he started to comprehend something. But instead of focusing on my topic, he then enthusiastically wanted to tell me about his research, which he spent 15 minutes talking about, not in the least noticing that I had actually gone talk to him about my topic.

As if it hadn’t all been enough of a total frustrating disaster up to that point, I then crowned the conversation with just the worst mistake possible. I actually attempted to casually comment on a problematic attitude most of the professors in my department have. Yes, I did it.

Guess what was professor’s reaction ? He completely misconstrued my criticism to something unfair and actually defended a good attitude that professors in my department don’t have, but it’s what he gingerly imagined the « problem » I referred to was.


Now, guess what he’s going to do next time he runs into my advisor or anyone else from my dept.? “Guess who I met the other day? Yep, and she said you all are “nuls” * but, really, it was obvious to me she is the one who clueless about such unfair criticisms to us, the grand ivory tower pompous asses that we are.”

* one of my favorite French words at the moment, meaning dummies.