Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Identity

This past three weeks I have had to remind people, several times, that I don't expect to be called "doctor" or "professor." A few people are having more difficulty and have resorted to not calling me anything, which is fine for now. I will have most of the students in four more classes, so they will have plenty of time to get used to it.

But it really brings up a question of identity. Am I disregarding my "doctor identity" by insisting that people call me by my first name? Do I not feel worthy of the identity? I'm really not sure. In some ways being referred to as doctor feels artificial and a bit surreal. On the other hand, I think about how hard I worked to earn the degree and know that it is a sign of respect.

I suppose part of it is just the discomfort of being removed from my working class roots. I don't want to be seen as "uppity" or full of myself. In fact, some members of my family have declared that they will never refer to me as doctor -- this, of course, is part of the joke that I will only answer to that, but I also know there is a hint of truth to their teasing.

Am I a doctor? Yes. Do I embrace it? Not quite yet.

**By the way, I do need that shirt!

No comments: