Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
x Turn on thread page Beta
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I've received an email from my new dos for next year just generally saying hello and advising me on a couple of books to read, which he has signed off:
    Looking forward to seeing you in October,
    Derek (Matravers)

    Now, having only met this guy once (at my interview) I really have no idea what to call him when replying to the email. Dear Derek? Dear Dr Matravers? Help!!
    I know this sounds silly but I really don't want to offend him before I even get there... Any ideas?
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Aww that's really nice
    Definitely go with Dr Matravers until he tells you otherwise.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    'Super'.

    Ideally: to his face, whilst clutching the most thinly disguised piece of glorified bog-paper you'd ever deem fit to pass off as an essay.
    Offline

    6
    ReputationRep:
    Well, I very much doubt he'd be offended by either tbh!
    Though I admit that at the start of the first term I did occasionally wonder how to address supervisors via email.

    Email is always a fairly informal type of communication, why not just avoid the decision altogether by writing your email like:

    "Hi,

    Thank you very much for contacting me...blah blah...look forward to seeing you in October.

    Regards

    Joe Bloggs"

    It's not really a big deal.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Dr Matravers
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Email is always a fairly informal type of communication, why not just avoid the decision altogether by writing your email like:

    "Hi,

    Thank you very much for contacting me...blah blah...look forward to seeing you in October.

    Regards

    Joe Bloggs"
    This is what I did. Means you don't feel too stuffy and fomal (not that many supervisors insist on being called by their title - 'tis first names, the vast majority of the time), but also not crossing a line you don't feel comfortable crossing yet.
    Beginning with "Hello!", or "Hi" or whatever is absolutely fine!
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    I think "Big D Mizzle" would work well, break the ice and all that.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (1) The way that he signs his name indicates how he would like you to address him. That is, he'd like you to call him Derek. If he'd just signed it 'Derek Matravers', then I agree that you should call him 'Dr Matravers'.

    (2) I know Derek and he's lovely -- definitely call him Derek.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Yeah, I was gonna say you should base it on how he signs it - you should call him Derek.

    MB
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    I have (sort of) two DoS' at the moment- one is technically my supervisor but is the DoS for the Part 2 that I'm going to take. Anyway, I call my favorite one by her first name and the one that doesn't like me so much is Dr____. But I think that's to do with the way they each treat me really. If you're confused I would go with "Hi,..." until you get the feel of it too. But I think the fact that he signed it Dereck and put his surname in brackets suggests that he wants you to call him Dereck and the surname was just for identification..
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    I agree with naesle - if he signed it Derek then it's fine for you to address him as that. Putting his last name in brackets was probably just to make sure you realised which Derek it was! The one I still haven't solved (after 3 years, but at the Other Place) is when they sign off with capital initials eg JB for Joe Bloggs. It's not quite as personal as first name terms, but equally not formal either. And to start 'Dear JB...' is just a little odd...
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    He clearly doesn't mind you calling him Derek, so go with that. It makes life so much easier if you have a friendly relationship with your DoS, and given that he'll be looking after you for the next 3 years in an adult environment, there's no real reason why you shouldn't be on first-name terms. The exception, of course, would be the much older academics/staff who would potentially find it disrespectful, but most tutors/DoSes/supervisors A) aren't that old and B) have a lot of contact with students so wouldn't be offended.
    Offline

    4
    ReputationRep:
    Dr Derek is a compromise, though such an expression constitute grammatical error...
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Ahh thanks guys, yeah i think i might just go with Derek, the whole tone of his email was really friendly and informal and the fact he signed it Derek means it probably wouldn't be catastrophically offensive if I called him that... Sorry to post such a ridiculous thread but I really needed the opinions of people that are actually at Cambridge! Thanks again guys
    Offline

    8
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by darkenergy)
    Dr Derek is a compromise, though such an expression constitute grammatical error...
    Makes him sound like a rap musician.

    I'd go with Dr. Matravers. It shows a bit of respect - no ones going to get upset by you being too formal.
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    I always go with first names. If somebody is going to take offence with me using their first name then it's their responsibility to tell me so.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Erm, can I make a radical suggestion - that you ask him if you're unsure. Chances are over the time you're in Cambridge you'll have a number of supervisors who will range in the formality they expect. I've been on first name terms with all my supervisors but I know others who prefer to be reffered to as Dr whatever. If you ask, then you can't go wrong and you won't offend anyone. Apart from that, if you are writing formal letters/emails just keep to the standard rules - Sir/Madam + Yours faithfully/Surname + Yours Sincerely/First name + something more informal.

    MB
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by musicbloke)
    Erm, can I make a radical suggestion - that you ask him if you're unsure.
    Yeah, you'd think that'd be a good idea, wouldn't you? And yet I asked one of my supervisors this in the first year when I met him for the first time and he was just flabberghasted. Apparently I was the first person ever to ask that question, a point he brought up in almost every supervision for the rest of the year, since he reckoned it was quite a funny story.
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    My DoS signs all his emails with either his first name or his initials, don't think I should call him JP though :p:

    Go with what he signed it with.
    Offline

    4
    ReputationRep:
    What logic is that!? If he draws a smiley face what are you going to call him. And if my feedback for my essay is rubbish, do I call him rubbish!?

    Only 'a' historian can come up with such (absurd :p: ) idea
 
 
 
Poll
Do you agree with the proposed ban on plastic straws and cotton buds?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.