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Accidentally Asked Someone Far Out of League

  1. Jan 11, 2012 #1
    Title should be “Accidentally Asked Out Some Far Out of League”.

    I was in Multivariable Calculus today, and I met a student who was new to the school. I thought he was a traditional student—it was Multivariable, a second-year class here—but not only was he only taking one class at my school (while working towards a PhD at another), he has an M.D. and his own office, and is working towards a PhD. I asked him out for coffee and then to explore campus before I had realized any of that. Now I’m incredibly embarrassed because I’m really awkward and informal, and I’ve only just finished HS, so I feel especially childish in comparison. Talk about out of my league.

    I just wanted to know if any of you guys have ever made such horrible miscalculations before so I don’t feel like such an idiot… His title was even in his signature in his first e-mail to me! But I thought it was some weird attachment to the e-mail body and didn’t even bother reading it. I mean, who even reads e-mail signatures these days???
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 11, 2012 #2


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    It's funny how a title makes people think you should act differently towards them.

    There's an older gentleman in my department who is a lawyer and owns his own firm. Now, aside from not asking him if he's played World of Tanks, I pretty much talk to him like I talk to anyone else. In the end, both of you are students interested in learning and bettering yourself and that's how you should see him. What exactly are you worried about?

    He probably wants you to treat him like you would want any other student to treat you.
  4. Jan 11, 2012 #3
    M'eh... MD's are overated.
  5. Jan 11, 2012 #4


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    There are times when relative "scaling" should be ignored. There were many, many times when I got lots of assistance from old people when I was a little kid. Don't be afraid of asking questions, and pay attention when you are getting replies.
  6. Jan 11, 2012 #5
    I’m routinely around students who are years older than I am due to being a bit ahead and also due to belonging to the SPS chapter at my school (which has mostly seniors and graduate students), so it’s not just a title. It’s that he’s in a completely different field, not just a few years but several years older (implied by his title), and seems to be incredibly used to handling more responsibilities than I. I still live with my parents, and my biggest concern is gas.

    If my asking him out was a completely platonic gesture, I wouldn’t be so out of sorts; I’m growing more and more used to hanging out with people who have done more and are at a higher level than I am. But my intentions were romantic in nature. I’d like to think that I’m more mature than my peers; however, those same peers have often disabused me of the notion often enough for me not to believe it.

    In a way he is my peer, by being a student, but I’ve not done as much as him to be his peer in anything else. It just seems like such a big gap.
    Indeed? Why so?
    … did you ever ask any one of them out for a date?
  7. Jan 11, 2012 #6


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    No, but I was quite enamored of a professor who was a PhD. She was an attractive woman. Not a "hottie" but smart and attractive and welcoming of the attention. I would have taken her over Lisa Randall any day, even though she had a penchant for wearing stretchy head-bands.

    You must re-group and realize that head-bands were only slightly retro in 1970.
  8. Jan 12, 2012 #7
    Well, being a Doctor only really implies that he is a few years older than you. Unless of course he's been one for some time (and by few I mean ~10). As you get older, an age gap of 10 years is really no big deal. In any case, I wouldn't worry about it. If you were interested in him, it makes no difference what education level you are both at. I can almost promise you that most guys could care less provided there are other aspects to your character that they enjoy. More-so, not many women that I have met can spell calculus, and an very tiny percentage of those have taken any coursework up to Calculus III. That alone I find extremely attractive.
  9. Jan 12, 2012 #8
    Why are you intimidated? What's so special about a physician? It's a job like another. They limit access to their profession so as to keep a high demand, and then strip the sick from their savings. They drain society's ressources, set new standards of living that everyone else try to emulate, create great wealth disparities, act like they're gods, treat co-workers as inferiors, paternalize everyone and have you believe their word is almighty and that you should step aside because they save more lives than janitors who mop the floor clean of bacteria everyday.

    (I respect MD's as much as anyone else, I'm just offering an alternate point of view for the sake of discussion, pardon my character!)

    And those I've met had as many faults as qualities. Greedy, arrogant, show off, excentric, wasteful, you name it.

    Now, walk with your head high, diagnose your own diseases with google, and go tell your doctor you need this and that drug, because just because you made a few points less on your gpa doesn't mean you're infinitely dumber. The barrier between MD's and non-MD's is one that they created themselves and they actively seek to maintain. They represent the business of dealing with the weak and fragile. When you'll be at your most vulnerable, that's the moment they chose to strike with everything they can.

    Now prove me wrong.
  10. Jan 12, 2012 #9

    Woah, intense.
  11. Jan 12, 2012 #10


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    I wonder if that's actually in the charter of the AMA :devil:...?
  12. Jan 12, 2012 #11
    Why does an MD/Phd take multivariable calculus? He probably uses some scheme to get the inexhaustible amount of hot girls you find in calculus classes.
  13. Jan 12, 2012 #12


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    It sounds like he's still working towards his PhD, and already has his MD. He may need the math for his research - certainly, he wouldn't need it to be an MD. Not sure why he'd take it at a different school - schedule issue, perhaps.

    So OP - what's your plan? I think you should go for it. Get to know him. What's the worst that could happen?

    Oh, and start reading e-mail signatures :wink:.
  14. Jan 12, 2012 #13
    This guy sounds kind of fishy to me. He has an MD, but is getting his PhD (in medicine I'm guessing) but is taking a class in multivariable calculus at a different university? Every university that has a med school offers all levels of calculus. Something doesn't add up.

    Girls of often intimidated by the signature as well. Don't really understand why.

    Best Regards,

    Supreme Ruler of the Universe
    Mechanical Engineering Dept.
  15. Jan 12, 2012 #14
    Maybe the doctor wants to play doctor.
  16. Jan 13, 2012 #15
    Feynman had a lot of trouble being a young professor
  17. Jan 13, 2012 #16


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    Go for coffee and explore campus and figure out if he's for real or not. If he's who he claims, he might just be glad someone in the class will talk to him in spite of being so much younger (MDs do tend to be social creatures), and it doesn't hurt to have some older friends. Even if you had more in mind when you asked, it doesn't need to be more than a friendly gesture if his age bugs you for more than just friendship. If he turns out to be more fictional than real, you might not want to talk to him beyond that one encounter.
  18. Jan 14, 2012 #17
    I know I am betraying my brothers here but just to let you in on a little secret.... many men are intimidated by younger women.
  19. Jan 18, 2012 #18
    I've heard this one a time or two. Guys tend to freak out when they see me in a class and I get it and they don't.
  20. Jan 18, 2012 #19
    I had a pretty attractive (read: stone-cold fox) professor for one of my sophomore year gen eds. I happened to run into her at a bar that semester while some hip-hop/R&B music was playing. I said "Hello Mrs. X, not preparing lesson plans tonight?" She responded "No, I don't even want to think about preparing lessons right now." I was a few drinks in and I responded "Do you want a lesson in bump & grind?".

    She laughed and politely said "no." Don't judge.
  21. Jan 21, 2012 #20
    Unlike, physics, "leagues" only exist in your mind. Don't worry about it.
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