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July 28, 2006

Comments

JoieB

A small compromise for the better good perhaps. Since you don't require the title for your personal happiness then there does not seem to be any reason to make a compromise of your ethics. This can't change you if you don't want it to.

Mermade

We call still call you Hugo, right? (I am slightly embarassed to say that I still can't correctly pronounce your last name). :-(

Hugo

Of course you can still call me Hugo!

David Thompson

"You know if it ain't that piece of paper it's some other choice they're going to try and make for you. You gotta do what Randall 'Pink' Floyd wants to man. And let me tell you this. The older you do get, the more rules they going to try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep livin' man. L.I.V.I.N."

bette

Congratulations! The fact you refrained from attaining the title previous to this says such nice things about you Hugo! You are such a special person, really! Congratulations on being chosen to represent your department and on your new status.....gosh, I always called you Dr. Schwyzer, and I certainly always thought of you as my professor. Nobody thought otherwise I'm sure, so it's just a paper and title thing that you trully deserve since the students saw you as a bona fide professor anyway. Also, congratulations on the recent publishing!

glendenb

This feels to me like the kind of problem faced by many people - myself included. I don't care about, don't need the title, the office, the company car, whatever symbol of status. However, other people respond to those status symbols in ways that enable me to do my job or volunteer work. Other people respond to the title, the office. If I claim those things - that my education and job skills will allow me to claim - then other people respond to me in ways that make it easier to do my job. It is a small compromise, but like good manners one that makes life easier to live. At least, that's what I tell myself every time I put MBA on my resume.

perplexed

This feels to me like the kind of problem faced by many people - myself included. I don't care about, don't need the title, the office, the company car, whatever symbol of status. However, other people respond to those status symbols in ways that enable me to do my job or volunteer work. Other people respond to the title, the office. If I claim those things - that my education and job skills will allow me to claim - then other people respond to me in ways that make it easier to do my job. It is a small compromise, but like good manners one that makes life easier to live. At least, that's what I tell myself every time I put MBA on my resume.

Selling out to anyone who allows you to progress in life is lacking integrity. I'm sure many people have used your excuse to progress their own careers while seeing the wreckage in their rearview mirror.

I have ethical standards that often prevent me from ripping off unsuspecting clients. I won't go there.

Funnily enough, I have never spent a single penny on advertising my services. My clients do that for me.

Hugo

Perplexed, that's un-called for. Using a title doesn't create "wreckage in the rear-view window." There's a difference between reluctantly agreeing to use a title to which one is (pun obviously intended) entitled, and making a huge ethical compromise (like plagiarism or theft.) Glen using MBA or me using "professor" hurts no one, other than -- perhaps -- our vague egalitarianism...

perplexed

Glen using MBA or me using "professor" hurts no one, other than -- perhaps -- our vague egalitarianism...

So you speed-dialed Patriarchy Central to give you the fast track to success? I'm being facetious. Is this the notion you're afraid people will think? Honestly Hugo - you view the world through such an obscure lens - sometimes people really are judged on their own merits - be they man or woman. It's not always about privilege or oppression. Just relax and do your best and enjoy the rewards of your hard work, and accept that hopefully other people will acknowledge your talents too. It's just life. Don't feel guilty.

JoieB

I have never understood having people get upset about certain titles. If it is an earned title such as "doctor" or "professor" it should be used. It isn't that I believe these people are more than myself, it is that the time and energy put into the title should have some measure of respect granted to it.

Hugo

Joie, when the woman who cleans my house and works far harder to earn a living than I did to get a Ph.D. gets a title, then I'll be more comfortable using mine. Until then, my students will call me "Hugo" freely with my encouragement, and I will happily bask in at least the appearance of egalitarianism.

John

I'm OK with titles. (I would be). In NZ, at least, it is possible for a cleaner to get a PhD. I tutored one through her foundation year, and she is doing very well, thank you. And when she has her degree, damn straight she'll use it, and be proud of it, because it is in itself a valuable thing. To deny oneself something one has earned seems to me misplaced white guilt-if it is an honourary doctorate, or the context doesn't warrant it, that's a fair call, but in an academic setting, why not? (Unless, of course, you want everyone called "Citizen"? :-)) Besides which, calling you by your title isn't so much about you, but about expressing respect what we value-scholarship. Just like calling HMQ Her Majesty-the honour is not to the person, but to the office, just like "Mum" and "Dad" and "Father George" and "Aunt Mary". Do you dislike those too?

Mr. Bad

I have four advanced degrees in diverse fields, so I only use the ones that are relevant given the circumstances. E.g., when I bid for a medical consulting job, I will use only the relevant medical degrees; same thing with titles. Thus, I would hope that you use your titles and degrees appropriately and only when relevant to the issue(s) at hand.

One thing that I find amusing is that from my experience it is mostly feminists and other types of socialists who eschew titles, etc., as somehow distasteful (perhaps the are seen as symptomatic of non-proletariat, elitist bourgeoise capitalism?). One sees this in the much feminist writing, where even capitalization, etc., is avoided, e.g., with bell hooks and her writing. So, does this mean that you're straying from the feminist (or 'pro-feminist') fold and may be at risk for excommunication? If so, you'd best beware the wrath of the true believers! ;)

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