Saturday, October 14, 2006

Where Do These Folks Teach, And Why Can't We Teach There?

Whether the ice cream post was a hoax or not, I suspect the author's intention may have been to convey the sense of the horror that emerges when our lives and our students intersect. The moral, if there is one, seems to be that one can recover from such intersections.

Now I'm pretty sure that attending a party with your undergrads is generally a bad idea and the repercussions of said dalliance might prove messy. I suspect, however, that the mess might be more our concern than theirs.

So, here's a story about a spectacular collision between work and pleasure. On a Saturday night after lots of teaching and stupid administrative work, I went out with friends to a fabulously dark and seedy gay after hours club. Loud music, sketched out party kids, and fetishes left, right, and center. Without divulging *too* many of my social predilections, I showed up in leather chaps, a leather harness, and not much else. I hardly stood out; sleaze is de rigeur at said club.

After getting royally ripped in a variety of ways, I found myself crushed up against a wall in the clutches of a very handsome, slightly older man. Heaven. In and amongst the groping, the loud music, and the lip smacking, I managed to come up for air. I wanted to know the name of my hunky catch. Between the small talk I happened to look over his shoulder, and who should I see but Terrance, a student of mine who I last saw in class on Friday afternoon. He was, obviously, slack jawed. In shock I think. I did all that I could in such a context: I winked and went back to the crushes of my handsome lucky find.

The next time I came up for air, Terrance was there with two of his friends. Over the music and noise of the club, I could see one of his friends mouth to him, "That's your prof?" to which I waved and smiled. And then I dragged my hunky find into the mess that was the dance floor.

The following week Terrance showed up in class. After agonizing for the week, I decided to be casual and up front. During the break, I asked if he enjoyed himself on the weekend. He said, "Yeah, it was fun." we talked about the music, the crowd, and the scene. Neither of us batted an eye. I have no idea what he and his friends talked about. But there was nary a ripple in my life as a result of that collision. Maybe they can be adults.