Saturday, April 12, 2008

Mystery trousers

Two more first days done, at my busiest university, and only one weird student! I am so pleased, particularly as the weird one (yesterday) was only unbelievably nerdy and socially inept rather than mentally ill. Of course it's too soon to say for sure, but it's looking good.

In fact it turns out that my most difficult two classes seem likely to be the last two of the week, when I am least equipped to deal with them. However, they are large, noisy, joyful-difficult rather than quiet and sullen-difficult. It will just be a matter of maintaining inner calm while the clown in the fourth period reduces the class to helpless laughter and the girls in the fifth period fall in love with me loudly and joyfully. I don't recall ever getting declarations of love on the first day before, much less from girls, but that's what happened. Perhaps in the short time I spent with my nieces and nephews I turned into a Universal Aunt. Or perhaps they are just sick of being in the minority all the time. There are only a handful of girls in that department, and while that particular class had more than any of the other classes today, that only meant there were eight out of thirty-four-odd instead of one or two. Getting a female teacher probably made them happy.

Speaking of the male/female ratio, I am sure there were more girls in that department when I used to teach there a few years ago, and told my new boss so when I bumped into him in the corridor.

"In my first two classes I have a total of fifty-four boys but only three girls," I told him. "And one undetermined."

"There are never many in this department," he said. "I don't think it's changed that much. What's the undetermined one?"

"I don't know," I said. "That's why I said undetermined. It's either a very pretty boy or a rather handsome girl."

"Well, why didn't you check?" he demanded. "One little peek inside the trousers would have settled the question in no time at all!"

He laughed so hard he had to hold onto a door frame. Then he added,

"Oh, you're so funny! I'm going to enjoy working with you!"

I think I'm going to enjoy working with him, too. It's takes the pressure off when the boss makes the jokes, laughs his head off, then attributes them to you. You don't have to work so hard to keep them happy when they do it all themselves.


Shyam said...

Long may this happy working union last! :)

StyleyGeek said...

I have an student of indeterminable gender/sex too. And he/she/it has a Chinese name, so I don't know whether that is a clue or not. But not to me, anyway. He/she/it uses an English name sometimes, but it is a uni-sex one. I wonder if it's deliberate?

Keera Ann Fox said...

First the loopy professor, now the self-entertaining boss! This is going to be a wonderful semester, story fodder-wise.