Re: Names and Titles

Mark W. Barrows (barrowsm@AGATE.NET)
Fri, 1 Mar 1996 19:01:40 -0500

I have had a slightly different experience when it comes to
academic/professional titles in a college setting. I was an older
undergraduate student, started at 25 and graduated at 30 and I was by no
means the oldest undergrad. The average age of the undergraduate students
at the school (The Evergreen State College) at the time was 24. It was not
uncommon for instructors to be younger than some of their students, and a
number of my instructors were only a few years older than I was. There was
an atmosphere of the students respecting the academic achievements and
credentials of the instructors and the instructors respecting and valuing
the experience and non-academic achievements of their older students. The
titles "Doctor" and "Professor" were very rarely used and first names were
the norm. On the other hand when they were used it was more likely to be by
an older undergrad and seemed to be done respectfully but with a tinge of humor.

And then there were the cases of a 17 or 18 year old freshman mistaking me
for a faculty member. I remember being addressed as "sir"!

I wonder how age fits into this as well as class etc.

Mark Wilson Barrows
RR #3 BOX 1464
Bangor, ME 04401