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I yodel, therefore I am

Back to yodelingwerty's Journal

Journal Jamboree
Apr 18th, 2003 10:22 am - Eastern Time Journal
I'm This Many

Whenever I see my professors outside of class or regularly scheduled office hours, I always have one of two strong reactions.  Either I feel like a big, grown-up girl-woman, who associates with real grown-ups and has actual intellectual standing, or I feel like the World's Biggest Moron.  And by World's Biggest Moron, I don't just mean, a bit young and therefore on the socially ackward side, I mean, give that girl a cape and a mask, for she is Super Moron here to geek up the day!

The first time I ever saw a professor off of campus, I was actually wearing a cape, so you know the encounter was ill-fated.  It was two years ago, Halloween.  One of my friends and I decided to go trick-or-treating at the fancy tract of homes a block away from my appartment before departing for the big West Hollywood Halloween parade.  We put on our costumes, she a prison inmate, I a pirate, complete with that cape I mentioned and a hat with skull and crossbones on it, and we set forth to collect as much sugar as possible in a one hour period.  We walked up one side of the block, feeling old when the homeowners asked us what our majors were instead of what grade we were in, but welcome when they gave us candy despite our obvious seniority to the other revelers.  We then crossed the street to hit up the other side during our return.  

At one of these houses, a typical old man opened the door, made a typical joke about how children were getting bigger these days, and then asked us the now typical question, "So, what's your major."  I answered history.  The man's face suddently lit up, as he declared, "Ah, I'm a history professor!  You may have heard of me."  

And I had heard of him.  In fact, I had been trying unsuccessfully to track this man down for a month via email to give a talk for the undergraduate history club on campus.  After I had informed him of this, he seemed even more pleased, perhaps because it meant that I was not just a history student but an active history student.

He invited us into his home.  My friend and I looked at each other skeptically, stepping into the foyer lightly, but not daring to enter too far into his house.  He was, after all, still a stranger, and not just that, a stranger to be respected, a professor.  Neither one of us had ever been inside a professor's home before.  

Still smiling, he walked over to the stairs at one end of the foyer and started screaming, "Johnny, come down here! There are some nice girls here I want you to meet!"  He explained that Johnny was his son before repeating the process two more times.  A weak, small voice answered back no each time, he could not meet the nice, increasingly uncomfortable girls in the foyer.  After much goading from his father, the boy finally called back, "No, I can't.  I just got out of the shower."  The venerated professor rolled his eyes and walked up the stairs.  

He returned with a dripping, shivering boy, six or seven years old, just barely managing to keep the towel around his modesty.  My friend and I looked at each other.  We were both thinking the same thing.  It's probably the same thing you're thinking right now.  

The professor, losing esteem each minute that our feet still touched the tiled foyer, then asked for our phone numbers.  

Stuttering followed, before we were interrupted by the professor's explination that he needed a baby-sitter for poor Johnny and that we looked like nice girls.  Now remember, that at this point he had known us for a total of five minutes.  He did not at this point know even my first name, yet he was quite willing to put his child in my care.  

After much goading, I gave him my number thinking that at the very least it would convince him to give the aforementioned talk.  For several months afterwards, he would call every week, several times to beg me to watch his unfortunate offspring.  He never did learn my name, and he never did give the talk.

I mention this because today I had coffee off-campus, outside of regularly scheduled office hours with a professor.  Yes, this morning I had a big grown-up woman meeting.

I wasn't wearing a cape, and I didn't have any mask-burn, yet I can't shake the feeling that I said something cape/mask-worthy.  Although it would drive me insane, I almost wish I had a tape of the talk so that I could pick out any stupid things that I said, and make sure to never say them in public again.    

Since I have neither a time machine nor a blank tape at my disposal, I think instead I will simply take comfort in the lesson illustrated by the above story: Yes, I'm a dork, but as crazy as I am, there is always a professor out there, a Phd, who is more insane than I will ever be.


Updated April 18th, '03 10:41am  


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