Your professor’s house: A brief guide to etiquette


As the end of the semester appears on the horizon, there may be many of you who, whether through TA positions, a small seminar class, or general enthusiasm for a class’s subject (nerd), will find yourselves invited to a professor’s home for a bit of discussion and light refreshment. This is particularly true for professors who live on College Hill, as moving class to their abode adds only a few minutes to the commute. You may be chomping at the bit to witness the colonial beauty of your instructor’s residence, but, like all things Puritan, visiting a professor’s house isn’t fun and games. It’s fraught with the risk of eternal damnation for the image you’ve carefully crafted throughout a semester’s worth of class meetings. Here are a few conundrums you may encounter, and my recommendations for how to react.


What ought you wear to a professor’s home? Clearly it ought to be something fairly nice. This means that your “(Blood Alcohol) Concentration Advisor” tank from Spring Weekend is a non-starter. At the same time, you shouldn’t overdress. your get-together is probably taking the place of a normal day of class, so black tie is a bit much. You can get a clue as to what’s acceptable by comparing your clothing to what your professor usually wears to class, and see if you can approximately mimic their sartorial formality. Alternatively, you can damn the torpedoes, show up in pajama pants, and act like everything’s cool (it isn’t).

Food: How Much is Too Much?

Your professor will likely provide you with, at the very least, a plate of cookies or crackers to snack upon whilst you either have a relatively normal class or else relax and discuss whatever subject you and your classmates settle on for the day. Typically, cookies are the food of choice.


No white chocolate macadamia nut? The knave!

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Professors and their Pets: Massimo Riva

Meet Pip, the snuggliest looking piano player we’ve ever seen! Massimo Riva, a professor in the Italian Studies department, gives us all the details on his furry friend. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that Pip comes to campus in the very near future (hopefully with his stuffed Rat).

Name: Pip

Age: One year old. Not much more than a puppy.

Do you have a story behind your pet’s name? My daughter named her Pippi Longstocking, because she has red curly ears. Continue Reading

Professors and their Pets: Felicia Nimue Ackerman


This segment of Professors and their Pets features Felicia Nimue Ackerman’s feline friend, Palomides. Not only has Professor Ackerman, a professor in the philosophy department, presented us her fluffy fur-ball, she has also provided some of her own kitty poetry (!!!). Read more about this furry dude—and check out some furry literature—after the jump.  Continue Reading

Professors and their Pets: Shiva Balaghi


This segment of Professors and their Pets features Shiva Balaghi, a Visiting Professor of Iranian Studies, History of Art and Architecture, and History (sidenote: she is our best friend on Twitter).  Meet Shiva’s dog, Binker. You can call this proclaimed “celebri-dog in the Providence dog world” Binky.

Type of pet: Dog

Name: Binker or Binky

Do you have a story behind your pet’s name? My husband, Mike Kennedy, and I adopted Binker through Petfinder when we were living in Ann Arbor five years ago. She and her siblings had been dumped at a Cleveland, Ohio kill shelter. We got her from a foster parent when she was 4 months old. By then, she was already clearly Binker: the name suits her perfectly!

Tell us a little about Binky: Binky’s motto in life is “play hard, nap often.” She greets us every morning by jumping around and wagging her tail. When we have stressful days at work, Mike and I remind each other: “Just wag your tail like Binky, and it’ll be ok.”

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Professors and their Pets: Connie Crawford

There’s more to professors than their respective academic disciplines. Knowing about one’s pet is a way to know that person better, and we believe that this concept applies to professors here at Brown. Accordingly, we decided to reach out to various profs on campus to learn about their animal friends. Professors and their Pets is BlogDH’s newest series that features professors and…well, their pets. Woof. 

This segment of Professors and their Pets features Connie Crawford from Brown’s TAPS department. Meet Connie’s dog, Mabel Rose Donaghue, and her horse, Moxie.

Rose on Chair

Name: Mabel Rose Donaghue

Animal: Dog

Story behind the name: Mabel Donaghue was a beloved bartender who died just when I adopted Rose. I do not call her Mabel because I know two other cattle dogs named Mabel.

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