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March 28, 2009



That is extremely interesting, because while reading through your entry it struck me that this is the classic mother-child situation.

This will be a bit rambling, and it's Saturday, so no searching for references, I'm afraid, and purely anecdotal thinky-thoughts.

I must say, though, I have seen you teaching, in labs, lectures, and tutorials, and as an observer (granted, with my own personal context of being 40 and not your student) I cannot fathom how you come across as in any way shape or form even remotely terrifying.

Oh, wait, actually, perhaps the flip side of the coin of praise is exactly that: the fear of lack of praise, and lack of praise is then interpreted as disappointment.

To go back to the mother-child analogy, the threat and also the power (on the side of the mother/parent) of the disappointment factor is the love (best case scenario) and the dependency (in all cases) of the child on the mother/parent. Thus the fear of disappointment would be coupled with the fear of loss of love (let's face it, many parents use this power situation to manipulate/influence their children "I won't love you anymore if you don't ...") and the possible fear of being dependent on someone who is not best inclined to one anymore, and thus the fear of repercussions.

repercussions of the dependency in your case would be bad marks, but that is not where the fear of disappointing comes from.

Putting on my armchair psychologist's cosy velvet hat with tassel, I would say that your students LIKE you and because they like you they are terrified of disappointing you, because they fear that this might mean they lose you liking them in return. So, it's the flip side of the coin and actually, would you rather your students didn't give a doodah about your estimation of them?

*takes hat off, puts comfy slippers on*

And I tell you a secret, I really hate to disappoint you, too, and that does sometimes work as a kick in the butt to work the extra hours on a weekend in my life of overwhelmedness to get something done I promised to do - and that's not because I'm terrified of you. Teehee. :-D

They are terrified of an emotion, not of you, I wager.

ripegooseberry - a motivated student

Great :) I think Nicole might be right.

However discomforting freudian analysis can be, and however disturbing mother-child analogy.. it feels you are right :) I'm another step closer to the understanding of life and all that other stuff [42], no kidding!

It was thanks to such intrinsic motivation, coming from liking and respecting superiors, that I ever moved on with studies, life and everything else! Keep on motivating us like that Dear Lecturers..

This type of respect doesn't cause paralysing fear, but some motivating mix of emotions :) So we stay up all night coding and writing [don't we??] to met the deadlines. And once everything is done - sun shines brighter.

Now, that the dust and smoke clears and graduation ceremony is near.. I think about the Uni as an increadible experience. And the knowledge aquired was not the most important part of it. It was those few motivating and inspiring people who made these 4 years worthwhile!

It makes me dream that one day I'll become a lecturer too :P [pirate-ninja-chuck norris-lecturer] Arr


If you truly desire life on the high seas of academia, you will do well as a piratical lecturer. Don't forget to consider the option of making lots of money instead...

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