Spending all this time in the indoors leaves me with lots of opportunities to think about the academic world. I have come to the conclusion that there are basically only eight different types of professors that you will encounter. Yeah, there’s some idiosyncrasies and individuality. Overall, though, there really are just a basic eight.
Image of Self: ColleagueProf feels like part of a larger network of like-minded researchers. They believe that each member of that community should assist others to reach their goals. All research, regardless of field, is valuable to ColleagueProf as long it is well done
The Truth: ColeagueProf is often overly modest about his or her accomplishments. Their own career has shown them to be some of the strongest and most productive members of the department or sub-discipline. ColleagueProf often naïvely believes that everybody in the department/sub-discipline really wants to be as fair as they are.
They Spend Their Time: Working like a dog. They serve on a ton of committees, make sure their friends receive attention, teach challenging courses, and still get their own research done.
When They Ask About Your Work: They are genuinely interested and eager to help.
Achilles Heel: They get overextended.
They Dislike: People who don’t pull their fair share or who discredit research without bothering to learn the details of the work.
Image of Self: They are the only ones smart and experienced enough to know which grad students or junior faculty should move up in the ranks. Every aspect of scholarship needs their rigorous reading to ensure its quality. Most people, they argue, are “just not cut-out” to be a professor.
The Truth: They are the least qualified people to determine which grad students or junior faculty should move up in the ranks. Their own scholarship, the little that exists, was long ago discounted by the discipline in general. They really aren’t cut-out to be a professor.
They Spend Their Time: Searching the hallways for somebody on whom they can assert their authority. Also, harvesting souls.
When They Ask About Your Work: They are really reminding you that your future is in their hands. If they dislike you/your sub-discipline, be prepared to listen to a forty-minute lecture about how your career will never advance – ever.
Achilles Heel: Almost all grad students and junior faculty will surpass their level of productivity.
They Dislike: People different than themselves.
Image of Self: Without them, the academic world would stop existing.
The Truth: They did produce some critically important research – twenty years ago.
They Spend Their Time: reading the glowing reviews of their first book – out-loud – during department meetings.
When They Ask About Your Work: Uh – They never ask about your work.
Achilles Heel: A well positioned mirror will mesmerize them for hours.
They Dislike: People who don’t kiss their ring.
Image of Self: The academic world has misunderstood their important contributions. Their department/sub-discipline doesn’t support them like they should. Other people get “special-treatment” they never had.
The Truth: Their department and/or sub-discipline is eager to support them, but BitterProf would actually need to do something first.
They Spend Their Time: Being bitter.
When They Ask About Your Work: They can’t wait until you stop talking so they can launch into a sob story about their own career disappointments.
Achilles Heel: They are their own worst enemy.
They Dislike: Everybody.
Image of Self: Tired – So, tired.
The Truth: They have been a professor longer than most people live. In that time, they accomplished a great deal.
They Spend Their Time: Being glad that they finally retired.
When They Ask About Your Work: They wonder how somebody “so young” could have a Ph.D.
Achilles Heel: Calcium deficiencies.
They Dislike: People who treat them like they died.
Image of Self: Thinks that their scholarship makes them sexy.
The Truth: They have the sex appeal of a toilet brush.
They Spend Their Time: Propositioning grad students and/or junior faculty. Wondering when giant gold chains are going to come back into style.
When They Ask About Your Work: They are expecting that you will be so glad they asked that you will take your clothes off right then and there.
Achilles Heel: Finding out that Enzyte does nothing to naturally enhance their manhood.
They Dislike: People who sue them for sexual harassment.
Image of Self: Uses a complicated and specific language that shows the sophistication of their thinking.
The Truth: They are smart people, but nobody will ever be able to understand their work because they refuse to be concise.
They Spend Their Time: Inventing words.
When They Ask About Your Work: You don’t understand the question.
Achilles Heel: Encountering somebody who also knows the jargon and, after cutting deep into the icing, finds a half-baked cake.
They Dislike: Anybody who does not have a Ph.D.
Image of Self: Most desirable man on the blogosphere.
The Truth: Well, obviously it’s true that GayProf is the most desirable man on the blogosphere.
The reality, though, is that GayProf has some traits from each of the above professors as well, both good and bad. I only mock what is true about me at some level.
Or I am suffering from multiple personality disorder – Whatever.