Shock and Awe

My first class was properly cowed by my fearsome presence.  Wearing all black with a bright red tie probably helped, too.

The second class, well… the classroom key the university key-people gave me fit in the lock but wouldn’t turn.  So I had to call the department secretary to come open the door for me.  While I’m waiting outside the classroom some of my students arrive early and start waiting with me.  I guess being flustered by the key mishap disrupted my Fearsome Professor Aura Of Doom, because…

Girl #1:  You in this class too?
Me:  More or less.
Girl #2:  Oh–we still have twenty minutes before it starts!  Let’s go run by the bookstore.

So they leave, the department secretary shows, unlocks the door for me, and I set up my desk.  Other students arrive, sit down.  Finally Girl #1 and Girl #2 come back, enter, and see me sitting at the desk at the front of the room.  Girl #1 turns bright red and hurries to a seat in the back of the classroom.  Girl #2, who has more chutzpah, approaches the bench and says…

Girl #2:  Oh.  Uh, so you’re the professor?  That’s, that’s kinda funny.
Me:  Isn’t it just?

I was so proud of myself for keeping a straight face.

Class went well.  Let them go a half-hour early, it being the first day.  The handbook/textbook combo I chose (the department’s recommended combo) was really expensive, apparently–I won’t pick that one again.  I did a little mini-lecture on “The Father Tongue” and “The Mother Tongue” (according to Ursula LeGuin), as a way of explaining that not all writing is dry and boring like the academic writing I have to teach them (to meet the course requirements).


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