We close out her tutoring session and she says she plans to come back to work on her next project. She asks me something about using the online system, Smarthinking, and then: “Oh and I have one more question,”
“Sure, what’s up?”
“Are you a lady?”
“Well, I used to be a man, but now…” I laugh because I’m not exactly sure where this is going except that we just went through a comparison/contrast essay about ladies and gentlemen.
“I mean,” she tries to conceal her gasp inside a nervous giggle, “so you’re, like, grown with kids and stuff?” Her eyes are getting kind of big.
“No kids, but yes, 35 years grown.”
“Oh my gosh…I thought…” she can barely make it through the door, “Wow!”
I tell myself I should go look in the mirror to check to see if I forgot to remove my baby face mask. Halloween was, after all, yesterday. But these are the genes I’ve been rewarded. And really, I should be used to this by now. It’s been happening since a truant officer followed me on the city bus when all I wanted to do was pay my Southern Bell bill and make it back to campus in time for a late lunch.
I’m trying to review her thesis with her, which is fairly futile because she already “knows” everything before I say it.
“My professor just wanted me to get someone to look at it” she tells me clearly to try to expedite the session as I ask her a few more questions about the obvious gaps in her draft. “So are you a writing major?”
I’m not sure if I should be offended by her tone, but I tell her with a friendly grin, “I used to be. Now I’m a professor.”
2 0r 3 or something like that. (It’s so cold my mind can only see one hour: clockout time)
He walks into my office with purpose and a big old smile.
“Are you looking for a tutor?” I ask.
He needs to see “the older guy” otherwise known as My Boss.
I direct him to My Boss and indicate his proper name. He repeats it once as if memorizing it.
When he returns after I overhear him talking to My Boss and asks, “What’s his name again?” I’m a little, umm, baffled. But, whatevs.
I tell him. Again.
“So what’s your name?”
Ahh hell naw! “Ms. Scott,” I confess, careful not to emphasize the Ms. too much, but just enough. I’ve learned to be delicate with these matters.
“So are you a senior?”
Okay maybe I was a little too delicate. “No, I am an instructor.”
“You teach,” he asks with raised eyebrows as if I just said, “I eat babies.”
He asks me what I teach–here I am working in a writing studio, but apparently it’s not obvious so I tell him.
“Can I take your class next semester?”
When I tell him I may not be teaching the class he needs, he says he will be back anyway because, of course, he’ll need help with his writing. I tell him the Studio hours and point out that we’re fully staffed during all of them. “You can help me right?”
Yeah of course.
“What’s your name again?”