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Have you had a prof who gloomed onto you?

  1. Nov 1, 2007 #1


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    I'm interested in knowing if other students have had professors who latched onto you and put opportunities in your path that you would not have gotten otherwise. In the VERY early 1970's, I quit the engineering department at the University of Maine and switched over to A&S to pursue English literature at the urging of a Professor Emeritus who was a Rhodes Scholar. There, I heard of an invitation-only course in Meta-Ethics to be offered by Erling Skorpen that was going to be offered to some grad students and some advanced upper under-grads. I girded my loins and asked the department head (Skorpen) if I could talk to him a bit and he generously agreed to give me 15 minutes of his lunch hour the next day. I met him at noon and we talked until after 3:00, by which time he was late for a scheduled class. I got into his invitation-only class, and never had to take a 1xx or 2xx philosophy course, leading me to a double-major in English lit and Philosophy. When I moved back to the area to take some courses later, he referred one of of his proteges to me for mentoring. She was in danger of losing her focus and was in a destructive relationship with a musician in a prominent NE blues band. Erling knew of my long association with the blues scene, and my weekend gigs to pay my tuition, so he regarded me as a sort of bridge between worlds. I think it worked out, and I hope the "fix" held, though I have not maintained contact with that lovely young lady.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 1, 2007 #2
    The prof I work for now definitely went out on a limb to let me work for him over the summer. I had almost zero experience with electronics (only the classes I took from him, so I guess he didn't want to look bad hahaha) and only 2 years of physics under my belt.

    Now he went out again when I asked to work for him over the school year and he's letting me work on a different project (old project switched to a different phase, I am useless now), this time doing more software stuff that I also have almost zero experience in...

    He has no real reason to do this as I eat up a lot of his precious time and he's even paying me.

    All I had to do to was basically what you did, just went and talked to him one day (besides taking two of his courses... heh...).
  4. Nov 1, 2007 #3


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    Yeah, I become a TA and RA at my school purely out of the fact that professors saw me as someone who liked mathematics and understood it.

    Students are surprised my grades aren't as high (still good though) and that I'm an RA and TA. They never checked my grades before assigning me the positions, which is good because I probably wouldn't have got it. I got positive feedback as a TA, so I've already been a TA for 4 courses now and I'm still an undergrad (got my first TA job in 3rd year).

    I guess it counts when profs. ask questions and you have answers!
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