Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The Kiss of Death

To begin with a brag: I finished my dissertation two weeks ago and am now officially Dr. Max Power. Sweet.

Anyway, I was in Houston a couple of weeks ago getting my committee signatures and visiting with old friends. Two small stories. First, when I was doing my masters work there was a truly batty professor. Batty in terms of his politics and in terms of being completely removed from reality. He once walked into class with a piece of cake the size of my watch on his cheek and another piece of similar size on his shirt. So nine graduate students had to engage in a three hour seminar with this guy without being the one to crack up. He was, of course, a committed leftist and one of those professors who would dock your paper for deviating from the Dem party line (to be fair to professors I worked with, they were almost all leftists, but almost all fair to a fault in their grading and dealings with students). He has since moved on, but my friend pointed out to me last week that he had been the (wait for it.....) Ken Lay Professor of Political Science.

Second story:

So I am having lunch with an old professor friend in Houston. I asked him "What ever happened to (name)", a colleague of ours who was super sharp. "Well, he didn't get tenure. There were two problems, you see. First, he was competent. Then he won a teaching award, and you know that's the kiss of death."

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