Thursday, November 2, 2017

True professor confession: I don't like hosting seminar speakers

I know we are supposed to be happy about hosting. We get to invite someone we really want to bring in, we get to spend extra time with them, and enjoy a meal with them on ProdigalU. But the truth is, I really don't like hosting. I can do all those things (except pick the speaker) when someone else hosts, and then I don't have to harangue my colleagues into signing up to fill the schedule, make sure all the proper arrangements have been made, do the introduction (which I find awkward), or deal with any random logistical nightmares that occur. I realize this makes me a freeloader, and that I should do my share for the department. But I definitely don't enjoy it.

Anyone else have something to confess?


xykademiqz said...

I don't like hosting either, to be honest. I have to be 'on' for several days when the guest is here. I do it on occasion, of course. But I no longer begrudge others for not bending over backwards to invite me over. It's a drag.

Grumpy said...

I hate giving introductions too. Every once in a while I can offer a unique perspective that ppl find interesting, but 9 times out of 10 I think the audience is dumber for having had to listen to me ramble for 2 min.

Anonymous said...

I don't like attending departmental seminars. Watching speakers repeat common mistakes has grown wearisome, and good talks are rare. So I don't go.

pyrope said...

Yeah, pretty much the only time when it's worth it is if you know the person well and will actually enjoy your time visiting with them...or when you can combine it with a project meeting and save some money.
I really don't enjoy traveling to give talks either...they take a bunch of time, exhaust me for a week (especially when plane travel is required), and are generally forgettable the instant I leave.
@Grumpy - I recently went to a talk where the person introducing literally read the speaker's CV for like 5 minutes (..."and, he has served as a reviewer for the Journal of [who the fuck cares]")

prodigal academic said...

Ugh, pyrope. That sounds painful for all concerned.

Anon, I actually enjoy attending seminars, but I can see where you are coming from. If it is a topic I am not too interested in, or someone who might not be a good speaker, I sit in the back and bring a laptop. I also bring a laptop when I might want to take notes, so this is not too unusual for me.