Getting to know professors

Good article at today on how college students can talk their professors. It’s not as easy as it sounds, but then again talking to or getting to know anybody outside your immediate place in life is often difficult. The main points of the article:

  • Call them by the right title.
  • Tell the truth.
  • Be prepared to do the work.
  • Be clear and concise.
  • Pay social calls.
  • Do not, under any circumstances, flirt.
  • Prepare for disappointment.
  • Hold the threats.

Strangely, I have never had a problem with bullet point #6.

Implicit in this list is the most important rule of all, which is just to realize that professors are ordinary human beings with lives, desires, flaws, and dreams. Once students start to realize this, and get away from treating professors like lay figures or cardboard stand-ups, getting to know us is pretty much the same as getting to know anybody — treat the other person with respect, find things that you have in common, and listen to what they say.

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