This is a phrase that I have heard on multiple occasions, both on this forum and in real life. But what exactly does that mean (in reference to talking about students)? When I hear this, I can't help but imagine a group of emeritus professors with grey beards sitting around in a room gossiping about the latest incoming student, with pipes in hand. An image that is both comical and scary if true, although hopefully far from accurate. So what I'm wondering is:
- When do professors typically discuss students (performance or otherwise)? When they are going out to lunch with other colleagues or after committee meetings...?
- What do the conversations usually revolve around? By that I mean are these conversations typically strictly professional, or are they more gossipy in nature like you would expect at some workplaces?
- Have you ever been in or heard conversations that were "malicious" towards certain students? Like warning other colleagues off on advising someone?
- Are these conversations more likely to be positive or negative? Do profs tend to spend more time praising star students or complaining about the non-star students?