Are you thinking about applying to a PhD program? Are you already a doctoral student? PhD is a huge investment of time and money. So make sure you spend 15 minutes of your time reading this blog devoted to PhD program success and survival tips. I'm confident that these tips can save up to 10 years of your life, up to $1,000,000 of your money, and, most importantly, your physical and emotional health.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Disgusting Professors

I consider myself to be an intellectual. I read heavily since the age of 6. I'm fluent in three languages. Based on my standardized test scores, I can say that I have above average intelligence. I've always liked studying and have been a great student.

Nevertheless, I've always had a certain level of disgust towards professors. I think the disgust is on the physiological level. I don't like how most of them look and act. I don't like their haircuts. I don't like their body built. I don't like the kind of clothing they wear. I don't like their nerdy humor.

Sometimes I think that physiologically I'm just not one of them. I'm 6.0 and well-built. I don't wear glasses - I have a perfect eyesight despite years of reading. No one ever picked on me at school - I look like a person who can fight back. At conferences I always feel like I don't belong there, although I'm an outgoing person. I prefer to hang out at bars with local people rather than participate in those boring conference events. Sometimes I think me being physically different from most academics produces a bit of mutual antipathy between me and male professors.

There was a professor in our department who resigned a few years before I joined the program (he got a better offer from a better school). This guy is not the nerdy type either. He is tall, athletic, and very handsome. To make things even worse, he is rich and well-known outside of the academic community. When he came to our school to give a talk, I just couldn't help noticing how much he bothered our professors. I had heard them saying things like "he is not a real researcher" (although he has a publication record comparable to that of many top professors in our department), "he is a clown" (he has a great sense of humor), "he is only interested in money" (his books sold very well), etc. At the same time, these professors would never say anything bad about a nerdy, top 10 professor - they would be all over him or her, making compliments, and joking around.

Well, I guess in order to be a part of academia, you have to be one of them both mentally and physically.


  1. Can I just tell you how much I appreciate this blunt-style of perspective you have? Honestly, I'm in a field where the women are supposed to eschew modern ideals of femininity and I'm tired of it. You should hear the reputation I have because I love me some Stuart Weitzman stilettos. I'm a damn good researcher, I'm an even better writer and teacher, and yet I'm a "space cadet" and a "sweet girl" because I love the heels and eye liner. I find this to be one of the most depressing parts of academia to be honest... and I've yet to hear someone so publicly call it out, thank you.

  2. You know, most of the time I just can't look at female professors. It's because academia puts certain marks on women. I just don't like women wearing dark suits, working long hours, having tired eyes, being pushed around by reviewers and department chairs, and so forth. The women who manage to preserve their feminine side are usually the ones who are not serious about academia: part time faculty members, clinical faculty, etc. It almost seems like if you are to become successful female professor you have to become that male-like feminist bitch in a dark suit.

  3. ... or could it be that you perceive a successful female professor to be "a male-like feminist bitch in a dark suit"?

  4. I am an engineering PhD student. I am well built, outgoing, athletic, doing triathlon and MMA as hobby.

    Most male engineering grad students are pale, nerdy and never get laid ever. Most of them are also foreigners coming from 3rd world country hoping to get a fortune out of their degree.

    Most female engineering grad students are incredibly ugly, feminazi type of women who thinks that she is the gift to the world.

    Yes most of them are disgusting.

    Luckily I do PhD only part time. I have a job as an engineer and never mention my status as PhD student. For me it is a shameful to be a PhD student. You have a better chance of dating a chick admitting that you are an EX-CON instead of PhD student.

    I am doing PhD just for fun and in France as a student you have many benefits from the government, ie cheap apartment and PhD is almost free here.

  5. Funny, the only two female engineering students I know are smoking hot. I'm with you on the guys though, haha.

  6. I loved your post! And I identify with it, though from a female perspective. While I would't call myself always the hottest in the room, I'm a decent-looking woman, all the more so by PhD standards. And I can recall the very moment when a (female) professor in my department turned against me quite vehemently: I admitted to having published a popular magazine article on women's fashion. She hated that! A second anecdote for you: a therapist friend once told me that every PhD student she's ever treated has complained of being picked last at sports in grade school. But I couldn't relate to that at all, since I was usually picked second (or first even, if the best girl was sick that day).

    I think it's the animal in us. We seek our own species!

  7. I don't consider you an intellectual, Alexander. Scientists with subjective opinions are the scurge of academia. Makes you no different to anybody on the street. You should know that, but I guess your extreme arogance is based on a lack of self-esteem, because your not all that. Maybe the mutual antipathy between you and your professors is because you feel intimidated by their intellectual superiority, and they just think you're a knob.

    If you went to my high school, I would have picked on you, for sure....often. Because you seem like an A-grade cock, who needs to be taken down a peg.

    I don't fit your offensive generalizations, either. But, I do respect the right for professors and other students to be "nerdy".

  8. Hi. Great blog in general and great post in particular.

    I couldn't agree more with this post. Some mental trauma is deep inside a lot of (bad) professors. I though that as an undergraduate and it has been confirmed as a PhD student and professor.

    A lot of them act as if they were superior, even though they are unable to think, solve problems or even write half as well as their PhD students.

    Really glad to read your post.

    Best regards.

  9. I'm 6' 3". I don't see academics as looking mostly like anything different from other people. They come in all shapes and sizes. Yes, a lot do wear glasses of course (I do), but that's about it.