Monday, August 31, 2009

Dr. Idealist

I recently decided that it's time to stop encouraging my students to call me by my first name.

This really has nothing to do with them, it's more about my need to self-identify as a non-student now. I don't think I was quite ready to do this last year, because I still felt like an impostor. But going to the ASA meetings helped change this - I sat in panels, actively thought about the research, and felt qualified enough to make substantive comments about the work. While I did all of this before, I didn't feel as confident in my knowledge, nor in my wisdom to know when to correctly apply my knowledge (or to keep my mouth shut when I really know nothing!!!).*

So now I'm answering emails with Dr. Idealist, rather than Practicing.*** It feels weird, but after awhile it will start to feel normal, as I ossify into my professional identity more and more, and leave behind the student identity I cherished for 83% of my life.

*To be fair to myself, I always was "wise" enough to keep my mouth shut, because I did believe I knew nothing, which I guess made me unwise because I didn't speak up when I should have? Now, I am starting to realize the differences between what I really do know something about (and speak up about it!), and the vastly wider area of stuff that I still know nothing about.**
**I love the ridiculousness of the wording in that previous footnote. It makes me happy sometimes to write convoluted language.
***Note: I would much prefer signing Professor to Dr., but since I'm still a postdoc, it's not really the right term. Dr. does seem awkward, though.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ossify... great word.

I'm having a hard time realizing that they are talking to me when I hear Professor or Dr. yelled at me from across a room, road, etc. But, I'm learning. It is weird. But, also kinda cool.