Dan Drezner picks up on today’s NYT article about students emailing their professors in slightly weird ways. I thought the article ran together several different kinds of email oddness, some of which are more of a problem than others. One thing it didn’t mention: even though universities give students email addresses, it’s often the case that students won’t use them. Instead they prefer their free hotmail or yahoo or gmail addresses. No problem as such there, except that sometimes the students pick the kind of addresses for themselves that aren’t exactly professional-quality. Frankly it feels a bit odd to correspond with, e.g., missbitchy23 or WildcatBongs about letters of reference or what have you.
Addendum: One other thing: Assistant Professor of English Meg Worley’s rule that students must thank her if they receive a response because “One of the rules that I teach my students is, the less powerful person always has to write back.” Very Foucauldian. Only not really. I think Erving Goffman makes the observation somewhere that the capacity to be gracious is actually an aspect of being powerful, not something that’s owed to the powerful. In any event, I thought it seemed a little snotty. More: In the comments thread to this post by Tim Burke, Meg says she was misquoted, and the rules she says she talked to the reporter about are in fact quite reasonable. Stupid NYT.