Just grumpy, or not?

Posted: October 21, 2016 by jennysaul in Uncategorized

Back when I was an undergraduate I had heard (from fellow philosophy majors who had done so) that it was possible for undergraduates to enroll in the advanced logic course offered to the philosophy graduate students. Undergrads were admitted on a case-by-case basis by professor X, who taught the graduate class.

As a student who was taking the department’s upper-level undergraduate logic course (the natural prerequisite to the graduate class), I saw professor X in the department one day and figured I might go up to him and at least introduce myself as an undergrad interested in taking his graduate course next semester. As I approached him, however, he growled “NOT ME” and then waved me towards the department secretary. I ended up going up to the secretary and stammering an unrelated question.

Of course, I may have simply caught him on a grumpy off day. But I cannot help but wonder if X’s behavior towards me would have been any different if I had approached him as a white male. It wasn’t until that day that I really became aware that all the philosophy undergraduates I knew who had enrolled in professor X’s class were males and I was a minority female.

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