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Lovers in science

S. A. Modena samodena at csemail.cropsci.ncsu.edu
Mon May 24 05:15:55 EST 1993


In article <1tp392INNsav at MINERVA.CIS.YALE.EDU> smith-una at yale.edu (Una Smith) writes:
>>Right now in the UK there is much discussion of relationships between
>>students and their lecturers, and is this a Bad Thing?
>[...]
>
>I agree that it's generally a very bad thing, and not just for the two
>people involved, as I said in an earlier article in this thread.  

And it's a topic in U.S. national and local news right at the moment...
and I think it is definitely bound up in the question of advising and
mentoring...rather intimately...as one of the possible side paths.

>.................But
>you mention avoiding direct professional contact if a mutual attraction
>develops:  what does that mean?  Should one of the parties (i.e., the
>junior one) leave the field altogether, or just the department, or just
>find someone else to serve on the committee, etc.  How far must it go?

Well, thank you, Una, for reaffirming just the question that I broached
in my short story #1.  How do you think the matter I raised be handled?
It's pretty safe to discuss sensitive matters in a one-gener-one-sided
way, especially to say "women don't think of those things, but men always
do."  :^)

>
>
>>Is it perhaps indicative of a problem that a discussion of
>>mentors took us into a discussion of sex?
>[...]
>
>Well, only Steve Modena can answer that.  He was apparently reading the
>thread about mentors when he decided to write his article about lovers,
>and he used the followup feature of his newsreader to generate the
>template, changing the topic (but his newsreader preserved the previous
>topic, a default feature).  

No, I put the previous topic in parentheses, not my newsreader....and it
clearly suggested a shift....no ruse involved.  Nothing to prevent the
other topic to run it's course.

>.....................Perhaps the change of topic is just that,
>not related at all except by coincidence or the wandering of one mind.
>I have removed the "(was:..." from the header of this article, and with
>luck *my* newsreader won't insist on sticking it back on...

>      Una Smith      Biology Department       smith-una at yale.edu

As a graduate student I noticed right off how a new female graduate student
seemed to be in the constant company of her male advisor.  I thought to
myself, do they like each other that soon?  My girlfriend and her roommate,
both grad students in the same department...and soon good friends with new 
grad student...just kept saying how the situation was going to turn out "bad."
Well, of course, it did go sour and then nightmare decisions fell on her
(and who knows, maybe on him...but I was privy to only one side).
Very intelligent woman....my lover and her roommate, very
intelligent...they could see where it was going to end up...yet they said
*nothing* whatsoever to this grad student who was 35 y.o. and reasonably
worldly.  I can only guess that no faculty member was willing to
speak to him or her.....but it didn't escape anyone's attention if a
certain faculty member's wife was to be believed (and, yes, I took her
word at face value).

Mutual unexpected flattery seemed to have screwed up both their brains....
and clearly the flattery affected each in a different way.

One could assume that the range of human interactions and responses are
completely null and void in a university setting.....except, unlike job
postions I've held in business establishments, university at the grad
school level is rather casual and very informal in most of it's daily
goings on....

Steve
---
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|     In person:  Steve Modena     AB4EL                           |
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