Thursday, February 17, 2011

Professor/Student Relationships...

Okay, so I got thinking today, when do you cross the line of friendly professionalism into the uncharted waters of knowing or remembering too much?

I like to get to know my professors, I enjoy their stories (how absurd they are), I research and ask around about specific teachers before signing up for their class. Why do I do this: I hate uncertainty, most people at this point are thinking-she is out of her mind. Does she realize that life is uncertain and you can't plan every detail? Yeah I do, however if I can get ahead in my class by understanding what makes my teacher function or get to know them on a personal level so they help me out in life, you bet I'll do it.
Here's where my question starts to form, is there a point in a professor/student relationship when its gone to far.  Do they invite you over to watch Sunday's football game to talk research-HA if this shit actually occurred I'd be shocked.  However, I have heard of a few cases of profs giving their students perks or kick backs that they couldn't use!  Shocking- I want my teacher or advisor to hook me up with some steak knifes, vacations, athletic tickets that they get from book publishers trying to persuade them to only use their company.  Hasn't that jumped over some imaginary line of inappropriate?  Or when a student starts dating a GTA (graduate teaching assistant) and they eventually become husband and wife.  Pretty sure, that's unethical.  You can't possible tell me that when you are preparing for an exam or quiz you aren't going to give your lover a heads up on what to focus on or grade differently on their work.  I would bet my left foot that they help them out.  I would love to use my Jedi master skills and prove to you this has happened, maybe even in my own department. 

Is remembering your professor's favorite drink & bringing it to office hours out of line?  Does that fall in the category of kindness and thanks for the help or straight up brown nosing?  Personally, I don't see why it would be wrong to kill people with kindness and show them you appreciate them taking the time to help you out-oh and actually do their job, teach?  Professors are just like us, they need a reinforcer or a motivator to continue doing positive desirable actions.  I say as long as you don't try to date these people, don't have an affair, don't sleep with them for a grade, I don't see a problem going in chit chatting it up, getting to know your teachers.  Why?  Because one day you will need them to write you a letter of recommendation, or a be reference for a job, or you have a small mini academic crisis & they pull through for you.         

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