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Old 10th April 2011, 3:34 AM   #1
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Inappropriate?

Hi Everyone,

I am a college senior graduating in a few weeks. I have recently been in contact with a former professor of mine because of a needed reference letter. He proposed that instead of emailing we text and have been doing so off and on for a few weeks now. We talk about our lives outside of school, mostly about our respective jobs and life stress in general. He never says anything inappropriate but sometimes our conversations continue into the early morning hours (2am at most). I was a great student and we had a good working relationship while I was in his class. Is communication of this sort inappropriate? Just curious.
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Old 10th April 2011, 3:57 AM   #2
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If he's your "former" professor and you are 18 or over, there's nothing "inappropriate" about what you said unless you've told him you don't want his communications and he persists anyway.
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Old 18th April 2011, 12:51 PM   #3
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Innapropriate?

In order to answer if this is innapropriate, depends if he is married, work and school relations. Do you feel it is innapropriate?
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Old 15th June 2011, 10:32 PM   #4
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Update

I graduated and the conversations have increased. Now he contacts me every other day just to talk and he now asks if he can speak to me on the phone rather than text every now and then. He frequently makes reference to himself as being older and then quickly changes the topic and says something in the form of a compliment toward me, always about my work ethic or intelligence. He also says things like "I am no longer your professor" and made a big point once of saying that once grades are submitted, the semester is over and the student-professor relationship has ceased to exist. He always texts/calls after 9pm and doesn't stop texting until about 2am. However, recently I contacted him concerning an important graduate school question and he does not respond.

The only thing he ever said to me that wasn't school/work related was when he came up to me on a break during class and whispered that someone he worked with at his job outside of campus (at a place I once went to for an interview at his urging) told him to tell me I was beautiful. I had gone there for an interview two years before and yet he chose to tell me so long after. I also don't recall even meeting the person he told me said that. I found that situation to be the strangest because he always told me a professor shouldn't say anything about a student's appearance ever (even though the compliment didn't come from him I still found that weird), and that he chose to tell me two years later while I was in his class again. I feel like if a colleague would have told me to tell one of my current students something like that, that I wouldn't, but perhaps I'm wrong.

I don't want to be partaking in anything that would be deemed inappropriate so my responses are always formal. I've never been in a situation like this and don't know if this means anything or if it's normal.
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Old 16th June 2011, 1:34 AM   #5
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ya thats def not appropriate at all! im around the same age as you and have been in a situation like yours where a professor has crossed the line so i kno how u feel. :/
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Old 16th June 2011, 12:46 PM   #6
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this is definitely not normal behavior. i got uncomfortable just reading it. it seems to me that your professor is trying to justify his behavior towards you and reassure himself that it's appropriate, because on some level he has to know that it isn't.

it is never appropriate to comment on a student's appearance regardless of whether or not you are passing on a compliment.
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Old 16th June 2011, 2:08 PM   #7
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If you need a reference letter from him, get it. There's no reason for such a letter to takes weeks to write. One of my parents is a college professor and such letters can be written fairly quickly. Give him a date by which he should give you the reference letter. His conversations with you aren't typical. I've hung around my parents' college professor friends all my life and they don't fawn on students this way. Texting after 9 pm to 2 am? That's odd to me.

Second, do you like his attention? I can't decide if you enjoy his attention to you or not. You're an adult and I'm assuming he's an unmarried adult (is he unmarried?). If so, you're free to do what you both want, but on the other hand, if you're not interested, you need to make that clear to him.
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Old 16th June 2011, 9:59 PM   #8
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No he is not married, and no I do not like the attention, I was just trying to figure out if this was normal behavior. I didn't want to say something and have it be me overreacting. He has yet to send the letter, it has been months, and every time I remind him about it he says he is going to and then doesn't. He only sent one letter (I needed two different ones). He never responds to my emails, only text messages, which I only send first if I need to remind him about the letter or in the most recent case, a serious academic related question. I have yet to hear back, although this seems to be what he does, he goes long periods without responding and then it's constant text messaging for awhile. I know for certain he isn't married, but he may be dating/living with someone.
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Old 16th June 2011, 10:33 PM   #9
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sounds like he's interested in you. If you're not, stop talking to him, or he'll get more and more into you and one day he'll make that uncomfortable confession that he has feelings for you. This is what usually happens between 2 people who especially have great rapport. If not from both ends, then from one...
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Old 16th June 2011, 10:55 PM   #10
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he's interested in you... if you are interested - then tell him.
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Old 16th June 2011, 11:10 PM   #11
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I am not interested, I just didn't know what to think. I got a feeling he might be interested but then he would purposely ignore me and the whole bit about never giving me that second letter made me think otherwise.
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Old 16th June 2011, 11:12 PM   #12
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if you are not interested - then stop corresponding with him.

if he hasn't given you what you requested - then ask another professor for what you need.

be aware of boundaries. you seem to be sending mixed signals.
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