Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Professor Bugler

When I was in college, I had a group of friends from home. We had all met doing "West Side Story" in some ridiculous community theater production. As we went through school and found careers, etc., I was struck by one thing. Somehow, we all ended up on jobs that put us center stage. One is actually a real working actor. I worked on cruise ships and had my own shopping channel. And one friend was a teacher. We all secretly agreed that this friend became a teacher because he reveled in being the cool teacher. The one you could talk to. The one who said the occasional off color joke. Essentially, this person became a teacher because he loved the idea of being adored by a group of people. He didn't just teach, he performed.

Me, I never wanted to teach. I don't have the patience. Oh, grading papers. That just sounds horrific to me. I come from a family of college professors... in fact, my parents were both college teachers before they gave up the world of academia for the "real world." In fact, I don't have the discipline to deal with kids. Of any age. However, if teaching meant just hanging out and shooting the shit with students, then maybe.

That's what I've done the past couple of weeks. In my effort to do my part for the WGA and spread union propaganda, I've gone to a few local universities and talked to classes about writing and the strike. It's been pretty fun, actually. They're so young and into it. Looking out into the classroom - as a visiting "artist" no less - reminds me just how far I've come. For better or worse.

Then again, it's all the same. Someone's falling asleep, a couple look hung over, someone's taking WAY too many notes, some dork is asking too many questions... college doesn't change. But they asked some pretty good questions. And I felt good when I left. Like I had done something for the cause. Or maybe it's just being in front of a group of people. Or maybe it was doing something that didn't have to do with cancer. Whatever.

Although here's the funny thing. One professor asked me if I'd ever thought about teaching. I just laughed. He told me he'd contact me about possibly teaching a seminar class for a semester. Now that's funny. What? Lesson plans, syllabi, papers... oh, I don't think so. Then there's the whole mentoring, shaping young minds bullshit. Maybe. Can I have classes at the bar? How can you be in the "business" without booze?

Considering I once attended a midterm for a class I had not even once attended, maybe I'm not the best role model. Really. I didn't even have the book.

The class - human sexuality. I got a B. Real world training, I suppose.

Professor Bugler. Seriously, I'm still laughing.

No comments: