Back row thesis defense bad manners.

To the greybeard thesis committee member behaving badly at the defense:

Hey fella- I took an hour off from writing my grant, the day before the grant was DUE, to come down here with the intention to listen to this Ph.D. candidate give a lovely seminar about the work she has devoted the last six years of her life to. It would have been nice to be able to actually hear her speak- instead of hearing you just generally being an ass talking loudly to your neighbor, and shuffling your papers- which actually looked like her thesis that you probably hadn’t read- and open and close your pen, cough sniffle, whisper and whatever else you were doing back there. !?!  She is a great student- and probably the one student who I have seen here working her ass off every weekend for the last two years. Not that you would have noticed since it didn’t seem like you actually read her thesis BEFORE the defense… I noticed that you were hotly interested in the text during the defense though.

But hey- actually, I don’t care that much that you were completely rude to other members of the audience who couldn’t hear the presentation over your shenanigans in the back row.  I’m mostly peeved that you disrupted this hardworking student’s 50 minutes of glory with your atrocious behaviour.

Next time buddy- and I don’t give a rat’s ass if you are full professor- SHUT UP and listen.  You might learn something.


10 thoughts on “Back row thesis defense bad manners.

  1. Yet another form of public wanking. The wankers are the least interested in geeking out over science. Yuk.

  2. Hee hee. We have a couple of profs notorious for earsplitting snorting and throat clearing, and one or two who consistently twist sideways, backwards, all but upside down in their chairs. Totally disconcerting until you’re used to it. Hey, the student has to get ready–the rest of her life might be spent talking to these wackos.

  3. Geek-

    Yes, I was appalled. If you knew how hard this girl worked in the last three years…

    Dr. J. – The other one I love is when the thesis committee member sits in the front row- and falls asleep during the defense. …

  4. “The other one I love is when the thesis committee member sits in the front row- and falls asleep during the defense”

    Sometimes it’s really hard not to do :-). There’s something about those warm rooms, low lights, and afternoon defenses that brings that out in me. And, I should really no better. At least I don’t sit in the front row.

    I think some of the dudes who do are actually suffering from sleep apnea and can’t help themselves. I know someone who fell asleep while watching a supreme court argument.

  5. dear Drdr A,

    i take offense on a sentence in your otherwise lovely post. The one student i have seen working her ass off ? I’m finally starting to get my ass back, as it was so far gone :).

  6. Ugh. This is so annoying. After an unusually long bout of insomnia, I actually stopped in the middle of a talk and politely asked a faculty member if they had anything they wanted to ask after they spent the entire seminar talking loudly from the front row while sitting three feet from me.

  7. Oh Crispy Taco-

    You are so right, my apologies…What I actually, really and truly meant to say was… one of the TWO students working their asses of! And look out- although you are just starting to get your ass back- it won’t be for long because you will be losing it again during that excellent postdoc you are about to start… 🙂

    And you know, just FYI- since its been the three of us here 24/7 for at least the last 6 months… I had to take the day off yesterday to get some of my own ass back!

    Wow, that’s a lot of ass talk on this post.

  8. Neurolover- I suggest a coke or a cup of coffee after lunch. But then, I suppose, if you are a man over a certain age – diuretics start a whole different problem. (I’ve seen one too many commercials for ?flomax?)

    Microbiologist XX- This sort of thing started happening to me when I started teaching medical students. It is most annoying and I now dismiss them from class if they are being rude. But faculty- that’s just over the top…

  9. Thanks for this post….have been to so many defenses/seminars/lab meetings like this and it makes me that much more miserable as I’m finishing up to think that my audience won’t even give a damn as they’re sitting there. Like, why the hell am in the lab every weekend? It’s nice that someone else cares and is willing to speak up about it. Your words will be in mind when I look around and notice an example of what you describe in my own audience (Trust me, I’m not just being pessimistic to expect such….), and I know I’ll be that much calmer for it….

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