Monday, May 17, 2010

No Thanks for the Memories

Does every department have a forceful reminiscer?

Maybe you know of this common departmental character. A professor emeritus (or emerita), who comes in to "work" to hang out and socialize. This person will spend long stretches of time in the lunchroom (or any common area) engaging anyone in conversation who enters the area.

This person will direct the conversation relatively forcefully to "the good ol' days" in 600 milliseconds or less. They can not be dissuaded from the subject of the "good ol' days", despite your best polite efforts. Sometimes you hear the same story twice.

The "good ol' days" were always superior, no matter what the subject. Dr. Emeritus Reminiscer is not interested in your alternative hypotheses. And, he will keep talking to you as you walk out the door.


  1. Short answer: yes.

    I've also been dealing with this kind of person in a volunteer organization in which I participate. This person is vehemently against change of any kind, even when the organization is dying because of this mindset. I'd love to know how to work around this, besides mustering other people to vote together en bloc for change (Yes we can!) and against stagnation.

  2. Yes, I was reading recently (NYT?) about the generation gap on immigration; that younger people and older people feel very differently about immigration laws due to when they went through their "critical periods" for forming ideas about what society should look like.

    These emeritae have ideas about college in which 1. The world had half of the people it does now 2. Far fewer people went to college because the economy was based differently, and 3. College students were far more homogenous than they are now.

    In my specific case, the "culture" associated with this religious institution was ENTIRELY different.