Yesterday leaving class, I hopped in a cab. It was 11 am, and a beautiful day was ahead of me. Of work. Whatever, it was nice out and I was looking forward to a ride home with the windows down.
Little did I know the third degree that was about to result. I mean, I'm used to chatting with the local taxistas, but sheesh was I ever getting a cross examination! Where was I going? Why? Weren't there more classes in the afternoon? How many hours of class had I already done?
Eventually, he asked what I studied. I said, "I'm the International Relations teacher."
OOOOOOOHHHHHHHH. Well, didn't that change things. Apparently, my taxi driver is the unofficial director of his own one man truancy squad, and had thought I was a lazy student skipping out on my afternoon classes. He was totally apologetic about grilling me.
In some ways, I get where he's coming from. Skipping is a problem, and the university actually has attendance policies that fail you if you miss too much class. The kicker was when he said I looked too young to be a teacher.
My students said this to me today too, when one of them asked how old I was. They don't believe I'm 30 on my way to 31.
On one hand, completely fine and awesome. I blend in on campus walking around, and who wants to look like an old lady? On the other hand, well, I AM A TEACHER HERE. I'm not a student, and sometimes I need to be teacher-y about things and its frustrating when administrators and others think you're just another enrollee. I got the hairy eye in the teacher's lounge the other day until I started grading some stuff, and when I hand out grades I want to be viewed as an authority and not the "big sister" or a peer.
So . . . in a completely odd train of thought . . . I'm trying to think about how to come across as older. It's like my freshman year of college all over again, and it feels a little weird. We'll just see how it goes . . .