167

There is nothing inappropriate (that anyone can see here) in the way that you've written your email. The response from the professor suggests that they're some combination of (a) incredibly time-constrained, (b) sloppy and unclear in how they communicate, and (c) a jerk. It's possible (as user2768 suggests) that the essential "offense" in their ...


162

In my opinion, you should take this seriously. What you are observing is bullying. The students that are asking questions, and trying to participate, need to know that you have their back. For example, during class, as soon as students start laughing: "Excuse me, X was asking a question." "Please be respectful of other students." After ...


112

No, asking reasonable questions won't damage your reputation -- and even a few unreasonable ones won't do any real damage, especially as a young grad student. Still, I recommend that you start by asking your advisor, or someone else at your host institution, rather than jumping straight to asking this expert. If this is a basic result that everyone in your ...


98

Your language isn't the problem, your email is well-written, but you've seemingly wasted the professor's time. You could have looked up the information, as they have explained: You may see course content on the department webpage. Comments suggest I'm ignoring the professor's words: you must know how to address them appropriately The word address can mean ...


92

It doesn't mean anything, it's just a pleasant remark. When you are accepted or rejected for the job, you will be notified formally, not by vague remarks at the end of an interview. In the meantime, keep applying and interviewing for other opportunities that interest you.


83

First, I think it may be useful to note that in academic collaborations where folks haven't met in person, misgendering often happens even to people who are not trans, due to ambiguity and cultural differences (e.g., "Jean", "Kinjal", "Xue Yi"). As such, you don't even need to bring up your trans status if you don't want to: ...


82

"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do" --- Eleanor Roosevelt. You can relax; for experienced academics, the baseline expectation is that most new graduate students (including ourselves at that age) are/were basically incompetent. That is the reason we give you 4-5 years of training before we ...


77

I'm afraid my response would not be as diplomatic as those suggested in the other answers. This concerns last year undergraduate students. You are dealing with adults. Moreover, your are dealing with adults who are likely paying tuition in order to attend your lectures. This isn't grade school; attendance is not compulsory, and they are free to leave if ...


73

Your email is impeccably written. If I compare it to the emails I receive from my students, it would fall in the 99th percentile in terms of email etiquette, grammar, formatting, and including the information relevant to the question you are asking. Your email also compares very favorably with the professor’s reply, which violates several standard rules of ...


71

Actually you need to do more than suggested by Wetenschaap, though that is good. It isn't enough to just encourage them if they have poor study habits. I learned that a lot of students reach university not really knowing how to use their time and other resources effectively. I've had to take time out in CS courses to teach people effective note taking (and ...


67

The best way to handle a situation like this is to get in touch with your Head of Department / Director of Teaching in advance (perhaps, after you receive a formal offer) and discuss your situation. Make them aware of your wedding date (congratulations, btw!) and explain that you can arrive to your post right in time for your first class, but you would be ...


65

No it’s not rude, it’s called boundaries and you are allowed to have them. Simply because you are online and doing something else does not entitle anyone else to your response. There’s some nuance to this though, depending on your relationship to the person emailing, but boundaries can and should be established.


52

I agree with both of the provided answers so far, but I feel like they are incomplete as they avoid the core issue here. The problem that you are facing is not reputational blowback. It's that you are asking questions that are received poorly. There could be many reasons the questions are received poorly: maybe you're being rude in your emails; maybe the ...


52

The professor in charge of this course replies my email that he won't discuss with an anonymous email address, and could perhaps set up a meeting including these 2 lectures if I send it with university email. I'm afraid exposing my identity would fail me for the course. You absolutely need to get over this latter concern, as it's simply not rational. You ...


49

Bad idea. I'm glad you "don't like it". Don't do it. Talk to your lab mates and colleagues. Ask your professors. Ask at mathematics stackexchange. Use the feedback you get to figure out which kinds of things you "should have known" and which are genuine confusions it's good to get help with.


49

Anything is possible. They may have been hit by a bus. At this point, you have no way of knowing and I would avoid jumping to conclusions, especially if this is a job you think you might want. If this Zoom meeting was arranged in the usual fashion after some initial email discussion with a recruiter, someone in HR (human resources), or perhaps a ...


48

I understand your challenge. Have you established house rules at the start of your course? If not, you still can. Also, you could consider inviting the misbehaving students for a one-on-one in your office.


46

Nope, this would be totally appropriate. If they don't respond, your advisor could escalate to their advisor.


42

Contact tech support and let them know what happened. They can probably clean it up appropriately. The apology message might be better if it comes from them. In any case, ask them for advice. Perhaps you need to pay more attention to passwords and watch out for phishing attacks.


36

Would it be possible to send an introductory email, as you don't know some of these people yet? Something along the lines of: Dear project participants, I was brought into the project by X because I have worked on subject Y. If you have any questions about my work, please feel free to contact me. Looking forward to working with you, Kind regards OP (she/...


36

This is only anecdotal, but it applied over my quite long "career" as a student (undergraduate through doctorate). I was always happy to interrupt a lecture (small classes) to ask questions. Some of them were because the instructor had made a mistake in a proof (math). Some were just because I didn't catch the flow from one step to the next. My ...


36

I would suggest writing something like this: Dear Sara, Your attitude towards adversity is commendable. I'm sorry that you didn't achieve a better result in your first try, but if you convert the motivation that your message displays into study effort in the next round, I am sure that your success is just around the corner. Yours sincerely, X.


35

Another anecdote. When I was a first year Phd student in mathematics, I took a topology course. One theorem we covered was the Tietze extension theorem. I remember thinking about the proof for hours and hours, and feeling that it was completely opaque to me. I could verify each line, but I had no idea how anyone would have thought to put these ideas ...


34

So, just do it. Write the missing parts as best you can. Keep the other as co-author and ask permission to publish. You have an issue that may not be resolvable otherwise. The co-author may not have any options about this. Keep them informed, but push forward. If they come back in, then do what you need to do to merge the work. Preferably ask advice (say, in ...


32

I had similar problems with my adviser - he would not do things even if he had to agreed to them in writing. I fell for this a couple of times and then just assumed (mostly correctly) that he wouldn't come through on his promises. In the end I asked one of the other lecturers I worked with if they could provide references as my "de-facto" adviser (...


27

When I work at the weekends, its because either: I have a thing that I absolutely have to do and can't wait till Monday I'm doing something more or less because I want to. Replying to some student is neither of these things. I will make an exception for this if it is a student/colleague I have a particular investment in, and I specifically want to help ...


25

My solution might not be yours, but I learned from many (many) years as a student and professor that when one student asks a question, others in the class also have that question but aren't brave enough to answer it. I developed a facial expression (one raised eyebrow) that can be used to express skepticism or extreme displeasure. I might walk over to an ...


24

You seem to have set the parameters here such that your only options are to drop the course or to do your best on the assignments. You've closed off communication, insisting it be anonymous. I'll note that in some situations, saying something intelligent on an assignment is worth something, maybe a lot, even if you don't come to a full solution. Leaving ...


22

You asked "What is my next step?" I would suggest contacting other people at the same place. If there is an office, contact them. Otherwise look for somebody with a title like "secretary" or similar. As a last resort, contact another academic. First try an email. KEEP THAT EMAIL SHORT. They don't want or need your life history. I ...


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