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You guys know any profs who don't or maybe know how to drive?


reinhard

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Today, I saw one of my prof at the supermarket. Ever since elementary to high school, I've always wondered "How come I never see my teachers at the supermarket or how come to school!?" Today I saw him and we got on the same bus together.

 

In big cities like NYC, I guess it is normal to not drive or worry about getting a license, but I feel like there is some societal pressure on certain professionals and they are expected to behave a certain way.

 

Anyways, do you think it's odd that some profs don't drive, AT ALL? Would you feel awkward seeing them on the same bus or train? What does it feel like knowing that one of your student may know where you live.

 

 

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I had professors who would invite a class over for a dinner or end of the year party and a professor who nearly always biked to school. I don't find any of this odd at all. Professors and teachers are people, after all. I don't are why they need to hide pretty mundane details of their lives like where they live or how they get to work.

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Not related to the topic but sharing it for the lulz. When my dad was in college he had this professor who used to be extremely careful when behind the wheel and, as a result of this cautiousness, would drive very slowly. Once my dad was going with some of his friends from one department to another within the university campus. So this professor happened to come along in his car and offered them a lift. So one of the guys responded, "Thank you very much, sir! But we are in kind of a hurry."

Edited by ahlatsiawa
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Some professors I know are serious bikers who regularly commute to work. When I was in London everybody would get to the university via public transport - getting through big cities like London or NYC in a car is a nightmare, and then you've got to find parking at the end of it - and that included the faculty.

 

In a lot of places, schools & disciplines the salaries for younger professors aren't actually all that great - they might forgo a car to save money. Or they have one car to share with their spouse.

 

So no, I don't think it's weird. We're no longer in high school - we shouldn't be embarrassed to discover that professors have a life outside of school. Hell, I even like some of the professors at my university and enjoy their company. ;)

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Not strange at all. I used to see one of my professors on my bus home from university. Parking (and cars in general) are expensive. It never occurred to me that she didn't know how to drive, it just seemed like a more convenient method of transportation.

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Would you feel awkward seeing them on the same bus or train? What does it feel like knowing that one of your student may know where you live.

 

I'm not in grad school yet, but in high school and in my undergrad, I wouldn't feel awkward seeing a teacher or professor. Although, I have lived in areas where everyone drives, so I've never seen them on a train or anything. But I've actually seen a professor on the highway, lol. If I lived in a big city I would probably expect professors not to have a car. Seems silly in NYC unless you need it to visit family often or something.

 

And as far as knowing where they live, I personally don't think that's very weird. Again, even in high school we knew where many teachers lived if they were in town, and if they coached a sport it was almost certain we would go to their house for a cookout at some point. I've even had a professor host a dinner party for one of my classes at his house. I'd imagine the level of comfort would maybe be about the same in grad school, considering everyone is a mature adult by then. Then again, maybe my experiences are due to growing up in a smallish town and attending a small undergrad institution.

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Nope. One of my favorite professors relies on bikes and taxis because he doesn't know how to drive. He's elderly and doesn't really see the point of trying to learn at this point. He also only learned how to type maybe a decade ago... wrote most of his books by pen and then paid typists. Somehow I dont think it's "odd."

Edited by CageFree
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I think the number of adults in modern day North America that do not know how to drive is pretty low, so yes, I would think it is a bit strange if I met a professor (or anyone over 18 really) that does not know how to drive. 

 

However, I don't think it's very strange for someone who knows how to drive to choose to take the bus or bike instead of driving. I know plenty of professors at all of my schools who choose bus or bike as their main mode of transportation. Many of them do it for environmental reasons, some do it to save money on car ownership/usage and others use the 30 minute bike ride each way as a way to balance out the hours and hours of sitting at a desk all day.

 

I also don't think it's that strange to see your professor in the grocery store or know where they live! Like others said, many of them will have BBQs or other meals with their research group (and in some cases, for the whole department) at their home. Especially at the graduate school level, professors are definitely just other adults that we interact with. When it comes to work, sure they are more experienced and have authority but other than that, they are humans with their own interests and lives too, of course!

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This is like three different things. Is it weird that they don't know how to drive? *shrug* I never really thought about it. I think part of this really depends on both where you live and where you're from. One of my grad school pals, now an assistant professor, doesn't know how to drive but, they are also an international student and have never needed to. They walk/bike everywhere, and take taxis when that's not an option.

 

Seeing someone on public transit wouldn't bother me. I've run into faculty in all sorts of places, including the grocery store, the annual dog celebration day in town, the airport, and more. There was a conference where, no joke, 11 people from my department had mostly independently booked the same flight back with a layover. So, we all hung out together in the layover airport.

 

Knowing where they live? I know where a large chunk of the faculty in both my MA and PhD programs live. It wasn't uncommon for them to have a party for their grad students or course at the end of the semester/year hosted at their house. I actually used to live in my advisor's house (they went on sabbatical and I housesat for a semester). So no, definitely not weird to me at all.

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One of my professors didn't drive. He wouldn't be able to stay long after class cause he'd need to catch the bus. He'd also catch a ride with some of his colleagues sometimes. He had just moved to the area, so maybe he just didn't have a car.

Some students thought it was weird. I felt nothing but empathy as I'm now 25 and I still don't have my license.

Edited by gingin6789
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I had a professor who used to ride my bus almost every day.  It was faster than trying to find a parking spot, and only awkward because I really didn't like him and he would usually talk to me.

 

Also I'd only want to avoid having students know where I live in certain undergrad situations.  Not that undergrads aren't adults, but I'd hate to have some freshman come egg my house because he didn't like his grade.  But grad students wouldn't bother me at all (hypothetical professor-me that is).

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I'm married to someone who can't drive. He's not a professor but just saying I know for a fact they exist. :)

He lives in a city and has just always used the transit system since he works downtown and we live in front of a transit stop. I drive so it's no big deal, but sometimes I do wonder what would happen if we were in the middle of nowhere on a trip and I have a health emergency...

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I had a professor who couldn't/didn't drive. I took an evening course that he was teaching, and I would drive him to the train station after class because I lived nearby. I didn't think much of it. He had moved to the US as a college student and since then had always lived in cities where it's common to not have a car.

 

The last time I talked to him he did mention that he was working on getting his driver's license, saying, "I've decided it's time for me to become an adult." He was about 40 I would guess, so I thought that was pretty funny. 

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