Monday, February 19, 2007

Ma'am

I proctored an exam this morning for the class I'm TAing. One of the students called me "ma'am" more than once. He can't be more than four years younger than me, if that. I feel midly disturbed, kind of old, and, yet, oddly powerful.

I also had an amusing exchange with someone in the physics department today. It went something like this: "So what's your position over there in Astronomy?" "... I'm a second year grad student ..." "And they let you work on just whatever you want?!" "Well, yeah ..."

10 comments:

Dave said...

The sir and ma'am thing kind of hurts as you get older. Most of the time it's just someone patronizing you rather than thinking you're old.

I found this blog trying to hunt down daily average temps archived for past months. Neat site, I'll visit often.

mollishka said...

Hi Dave!

Will has a plot of average daily Boston temperatures over here.

Yeah, I'm used to "ma'am" in the context of, "I'm trying to sell you a product," but definitely not in the sense of, "I think you have some control over my grade and so I am going to try to show you respect."

Dave said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephen said...

A short couple years after getting my BS, a friend a year behind me was teaching Calculus for Business Majors. He reported talking about Niel Armstrong bouncing around on the moon and getting 500 blank stares. He did the math. These 'kids' were born in 1973 - the year after the last moon landing. I felt old. And it wasn't long before some of these were his grad student helpers.

But with clean living, good eating and exercise, you to can have an avatar as youthful as mine.

mollishka said...

By the way, Dave, I tend to try to stick to "mollishka" online.

Scott H. said...

Just wait ... before long you'll be lecturing undergrads who are literally half your age. (And maybe having them cook dinner for you at Random ...)

Anonymous said...

The "power" is going to your head.

mollishka said...

anonymous: what the fuck?

Anonymous said...

Swearing is the literary crutch of the inarticulate motherfucker, Ma'am.

Laura Dickerson said...

The only people I *know* (as opposed to salespeople) who ma'am me are both
southern bellringers. It doesn't bother me. I'm old enough to be their
mother, even though we're whatever the hobby equivalent is of co-workers.
"That's ma'am as in ham, not mahm as in farm." - The Queen