OK, it’s the time of the semester when I get a bazillion emails from students enrolled in my classes, and students trying to enroll in my classes, and assorted others. And, the emailers each choose a manner of address out of thin air, since usually they haven’t met me yet and have no idea how I prefer to be addressed.
The problem is, I’m not sure how I would prefer to be addressed!
I am on record as feeling “How U doin?” is too informal an opening for email to one’s professor, and as deeming beeyotch and its variants inappropriate.
I am not “Mrs. Stemwedel” (since that’s my mother). I’d be pretty comfortable with “Dr. Stemwedel”, but my kids tell me I’m “not a real doctor”. (I don’t dispense lollipops, and despite having a couch and coffee table — with magazines fanned on it — there is no fish tank in my “waiting area”.)
My kids not withstanding, the live options seem to be:
- Dr. Stemwedel
- Prof. Stemwedel
- Ms. Stemwedel
I go back and forth on what I think about this, so I’m asking for your help: Which of these options do you think is best, and why?
I’m interested not only in the views of other academics, but also those of current and former college students. Tell me what you like (or don’t like) and what the subtext of these forms of address might be.