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).