Another note for students — the rest of you can ignore it

Registration is going strong, and a bunch of you students want to get into my Fundamentals of Genetics, Evolution, and Development class, and you’re sending me all this email. A few of you also want to get into my Biological Communications class. Bad news: I ignore most of my email. I’d go insane if I didn’t. If you really, really want to get into the class, you have to come see me personally.

Weird, I know. It’s like the 20th century or something.

Anyway, I’ll be in my office from 9-4 tomorrow*. There will be a physical piece of paper with permission numbers on it somewhere on my desk. Come in, say hello, tell me why I should let you take my course, and you might be able to walk away with one of those numbers. This is a real university! We actually have to meet face-to-face now and then!

I know not every student here reads this blog, so spread the word. Cranky ol’ Myers expects you to demonstrate your corporeality before he’ll let you take his class. OK?

*OK, I might duck out to use the men’s room or to run next door to get lunch or something. Be persistent. I’ll be around. If you’re daunted because I closed my door for 10 minutes, you don’t deserve one of my permission numbers.


  1. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dang PZ, biobreaks and lunch? You’re losing your superhero/devil status for those minor items.

  2. kohldamunga says

    OK, I might duck out to use the men’s room or to run next door to get lunch or something. Be persistent. I’ll be around. If you’re daunted because I closed my door for 10 minutes, you don’t deserve one of my permission numbers.

    OK. I know it says this thread is for students only… but I just couldn’t resist. I am shocked. It takes only 10 minutes for the professor to relieve himself?

  3. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    you don’t deserve one of my permission numbers.

    I wouldn’t take your stinky old permission number if you paid me. So there. Nyaah! :-þ

    <Why yes, I am six years old. Why do you ask?>

  4. jt512 says

    “Biological Communications class”? You mean in your department they actually teach students how to write a scientific paper? WTF!

  5. says

    I wish I could take that class. I have a strong impression there’s a lot of shit they didn’t teach me at Bible college. Oh, well… I can’t take that class, and that’s all there is to it, so back to the library for me.

  6. frankb says

    A closed door would certainly intimidate me, but then I don’t have much experience going into professors’ offices. I avoided it as much as possible when I was a student. I also have an anxiety disorder, so I won’t be going to mean old Professor Myer’s class.

  7. Aquaria says

    PZ, you really expect your students to read the crap you spew on your soapbox blog?

    Why not? He promotes their blogs here, and they know where to find him.

    What if most of them don’t see the world in as ugly and hateful a way as you?

    Shiny, shiny mirror.

    Why would they want to read your Pretty Zany PZ rants?

    Because he’s interesting and you’re not.

    You had better find a better and less presumptive way of communicating with them.

    Why don’t you let PZ and his students decide how they want to communicate and you go fuck yourself, m’kay? It’s really none of your business, scumbag.

    Really, presuming they have to read your blog to get updates, and telling them you ignore their email… what arrogance.

    Not if it’s understood from the beginning. And then there’s that promotion of their blogs thing he does. They might not mind having to come here when they know they can interact with intelligent people–which of course leaves you out.

    PZ, get a real job too while you’re at it.

    So you’re mad that the only job a moronic douchebag like you could get is one that involves asking people if they want fries with that?

    Sucks to be you.

  8. Phoenician in a time of Romans says

    You’ll be sorry you asked for this when it turns out that one of your students really is a shoggoth or something.

  9. Draken says

    Students who don’t want to wait for the corporeal manifestation of the Professor can alternatively enroll online at Patriot University.

  10. Zugzwang says

    Ragutis, I thought about an elephant, but it was green.

    Distances, finances, and my entrenchment in another profession prevent me from attending Professor Myers’ classes. But I definitely habeas the corpus.

  11. Mirror says

    I always appreciated it when I was in school if professors told me the best ways to get a hold of them. I much preferred professors who regularly made themselves available in person.

    Reading this made me want to go back in time and try to get into one of PZ’s interesting classes!

  12. Rufus says

    Having worked for/with/at more biology professors that is probably good for my mental health, having one actually tell you where they’re going to be when you need to find them qualifies as an unheard of luxury.

    Many have been the times where I was going to “borrow” the departmental dart rifle and an RF tracking collar from the large canid people down the hall and carry out my own personal dart-and-release programme on people who were applying for things and vanishing halfway through the process.

  13. jose says

    Isn’t Moodle useful for internal things like this? Not saying what you should or shouldn’t post, I’m just curious.

  14. says

    At my school there is no faculty discretion over who to admit to class. It has to be done in the priority order set by the waiting list, to which names were added during the registration process. I don’t really disagree with the system, which preserves the order in which students attempted to add my class, but I do sometimes miss the old days when students needed to show some pluck in tracking me down in person to get permission to add the class. (One good way was to actually come to class! But not everyone thought of that.)

  15. sailor1031 says

    In my student days Professors were not known to visit the restroom or to eat food; it was not in accord with professorial dignity to have such mundane needs. I do suspect (and I mention it because you may find it useful….) that the Chemistry Prof had a camouflaged relief tube attached to his desk…

  16. Hazel Stone says

    Darn PZ: ‘Be persistent. I’ll be around. If you’re daunted because I closed my door for 10 minutes, you don’t deserve one of my permission numbers.’ Really?

    That ‘students have time, let them chase me’ attitude made my university time so difficult. But then even though I was only 21 I had 2 kids, a 70 mile round commute, a husband and a part-time job to handle, so sometimes, 10 minutes meant I couldn’t wait as I’d miss my train home and be late for the child-minder, or work, or picking a kid up from school. My rather ancient math professors, really, really didn’t get it. You sure none of your students working under that kind of pressure?

    I once had to pay for an extra half-days child-care (money that meant I had trouble feeding the kids that week) because a professor insisted on handling an admin issue face-to-face rather than by phone and he said if I was serious I’d be there, if I wasn’t there then I didn’t deserve to stay in his class.

    And the admin issue? I needed an extension on an assignment because I’d spent two days in hospital with a critically sick 2 year old plus the evening I had allocated to doing that assignment was spent rushing to the hospital (you know things are really, really bad when the doctor asks if you have a car, and when he says yes he tells you not to wait for the ambulance but to take the kid and go now, don’t stop at any red lights, ignore speed limits – nothing like running through hospital corridors with your close to death child in your arms to age you 20 years overnight).

    Phooey to him. I aced his class and never took another one from him.

    PS kid in question is now a robustly healthy 23 year old

  17. Don Quijote says

    Ah all you youngsters. When I went to school it was in a cave where we learnt to paint animals and things on the wall. Anyway, we didn’t have things like the internet, e-mail or cell phones so we had to, you know, speak face to face.

  18. says

    Damn, Hazel.

    You sound like a strong person from what I have read. And I agree.

    I simply cannot see an advisor. I work and go to school full-time. There are no hours that I can stop by and they won’t take a hold off over the phone.

    ‘But I can schedule you a time slot.’

    Lady, I don’t even have time to sleep nor the money to eat. I have to be at work.

  19. says

    That ‘students have time, let them chase me’ attitude made my university time so difficult.

    Say, did you happen to notice what my office hours are today? 9am to 4pm. I’m here RIGHT NOW.

    Acknowledging that I might have to step out to use the bathroom once or twice today is now an example of me snootily demanding that students must chase me?

  20. pHred says

    Nice rants – I might be a professor but I also have two kids and have to pay for overtime child care to try and meet with students who half the time blow me off. I teach at a state college, so while my salary is okay – much of it goes towards paying off my student loans and for child care.

    *Surprise!* Guess what, professors are people too. We have other commitments – see we are acutally required to do research, get published, apply for grants, attend meetings. Not to mention many of use have kids, elderly parents, etc. etc.

    I go out of my way to try to try and accommodate students, but how arrogant to suggest that need to try to meet you at least half way (9am-4pm is more than half way). No – we are supposed to live in our offices at all points, whenever anyone might possibly want us. BAH!

  21. Sick of Arrogant Professors says

    PZ, do you think this blog is really a substitute for publishing peer reviewed papers?

    Or perhaps your forthcoming book will serve as a substitute for some real contributions to science?