Questions about professional etiquette, appropriate interpersonal behavior, or social graces/norms

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59
votes
11answers
12k views

How do you answer “Oh, you're a professor? What do you teach?”

I suspect anybody who's a professor knows this story: you meet someone new in a social setting and it comes up that you're a professor. The inevitable next question is, "oh, what do you teach?" It's ...
44
votes
10answers
10k views

What is the effect of a PhD student dyeing their hair blue?

I'm a male 19 year old Phd student (in a field in the exact sciences), I dyed my hair bright blue. Personally, I think it transmits a great message and is generally cool. Although, I'm not sure how ...
70
votes
10answers
11k views

What is a social strategy I can use to respond to “How's your PhD going?”

I was surprised when starting my PhD as to how much I get asked this question and how much I fail at answering it. Whenever I attempt an answer, I fumble around and the subject immediately changes ...
5
votes
2answers
185 views

How to overcome my resistance to lecturing?

I am in a situation where I have several adult students for an all-day career training program that runs for about a year. So, they and I sit in the classroom most of a normal work-week. I decide when ...
2
votes
1answer
187 views

Appropriate topics over lunch with an invited speaker

There's a speaker coming to my university to give a lecture that all students and faculty are invited to. My department is especially interested in the speaker because he will be talking about a field ...
12
votes
3answers
783 views

What is the weight on the applicant's personality for tenure?

Assume that someone is an excellent researcher (many awards and at least 7-8 publications a year) and a very good teacher but he is not "liked" by some of the tenured faculty in the department (due to ...
12
votes
2answers
736 views

How should a teacher approach a student with distractingly strong perfume?

How might a professor approach a student who comes to class and/or office hours wearing perfume or cologne that is distractingly or overwhelmingly powerful? Certainly, different people have different ...
47
votes
7answers
14k views

Is it appropriate to buy a “thank you” gift for a PhD supervisor?

I am nearing the end of my PhD and I would quite like to buy a "thank you" gift for my supervisor (although, she's the socially awkward type who I'm sure will be greatly embarrassed to receive one). ...
1
vote
1answer
379 views

Malfunctioning social media buttons on a conference website

The website of a conference that will take place soon (next month), offers social media buttons that should redirect the website visitor to the corresponding social media page or account, but when I ...
47
votes
11answers
8k views

Is Facebook a necessary tool for a student?

I'm starting a master's degree in the autumn, and I recently received an email from the university inviting me to join the Facebook page for the course. However, I don't currently have an active ...
21
votes
6answers
4k views

Social etiquette for interacting with PhD peers who complain *a lot*

People in my program complain a lot and usually not in good humor. How can I handle this socially and professionally? Some of these people are my friends and some are no more than peers. In general ...
8
votes
5answers
3k views

Why do PhD students complain so much? [closed]

This question has two parts. First, a comparative question. Second, a broad question about why PhD students get so stressed and complain so much. Do PhD students complain more than people in other ...
28
votes
5answers
2k views

What to do when no one speaks English around you?

Often when I attend conferences and meetings, there are some social activities sometimes specifically for graduate students to mix with each other and get to know other students and build possible ...
12
votes
3answers
571 views

Advice for early grad student: how to professionally present tentative research idea(s) before one has chosen a topic

I'm a 2nd-year grad student in a US PhD program in one of the social sciences. Coursework has forced me throw out the initial ideas I had about research, which I proposed in my application nearly two ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

How to introduce myself briefly in a get together for new faculty members?

For the new faculty orientation, there is a get together where they will ask every new faculty member of all departments to say a few words about him/her self. What are the best practices regarding ...
6
votes
3answers
643 views

Why don't colleges and departments teach social skills?

After all, to do research with a professor, a student has to have good social skills. So why not have classes that teach social etiquette and social skills? It seems that many courses in college are ...