(It’s like this and like that and like this… So please stop talking…)
I’ve never been accused of being a prude, and I’ve never
really had people worrying that they were offending my delicate sensibilities.
True, I begged out of a bachelor party before my wedding because the guys
planned to take me to a strip club, but that’s a different issue. Having women
who use crack being willing to do “anything” for $20 (not a rip, but an actual selling point from one of the guys
trying to get me to go there) doesn’t really appeal to me. I also
have a weak stomach when it comes to noticing mold on food I’m eating, finding
used tampons in the toilet when I just wake up and hearing the Midget describe
in infinite detail what happened when the girl in her K-4 class puked all over
the snack table. That’s squeamish, though, not prudish.
However, I’ve found lately that perhaps there is a limit,
even for a guy who liked to tell dick jokes that could best be described as
“factory inappropriate.” Oddly enough, it’s the students I’m working with who
are leading me to this conclusion.
Here’s what I’m talking about: I had a couple of very nice, polite female
students I know signing up for an advising session on my door. The women were
going through the dates and asking me which days would be better or which days
I might have the Midget with me and so forth. Finally one of them says,
“October 2! That’s my birthday!” The other responds with, “I’m so bad at
remembering birthdays. Except for my best friend’s birthday, because that was
the night I lost my virginity.”
(Insert shot of Doc cringing here until every hair on him
stands on end.)
The kids then looked at me with a “Oh, was that not good?”
kind of look and started talking about something else slightly more
This wasn’t the first time this happened to me. A few years
back, I was meeting with a young lady in my writing class as part of a
one-on-one session. She explained she’d need to leave early because she needed
to have a fight with her boyfriend.
“He’s trying to break up with me, but he thinks I’m going to
keep fucking him if we’re just friends,” she explained.
(Insert shot of Doc feeling brain being sucked into the back
of his headlike in the old Maxell commercials.)
She stopped and said, “Oh, did you not want to know that?”
I conveyed this to a colleague who was working with the kid
in another class and he said, “Oh, you mean Genital Warts Jen?” Again, too much
info, but yeah. “She told everyone once that they needed to stop stealing her
chair this week because her genital warts were particularly bad and she didn’t
want anything to spread.”
(Insert shot of Docthrowing up in his mouth a little bit.)
Recently, I’ve had guy students tell me something about how
they were “laying pipe,” women students tell me that they had to skip my class
because they were on their period and it was particularly nasty this month and
older students convey to me how they might need to leave because they had
In some very, very, very small ways, I appreciate that people feel comfortable
enough to let me in on little slices of their lives. However, I think that your
right to express yourself to a professor should end a little farther north of
the border. Beyond the fact that I like to think of my students as Ken Dolls
when it comes to that region, I’m uncertain as to how to continue to contribute
to the conversation.
What should I say to the “deflowered” girl? “Hey, what a
great memory tool! The guy must have been great!” How should I react to the
menopause? “Yeah, my mom went through that. Ain’t it a bitch?” What should I
say to the lady who’s dealing with Aunt Flo? “Glad you’re back. How’s your
crotch?” I’m usually pretty glib, but man, I’ve spent days on this idea and
have yet to come up with something better than, “Oh… OK… Yeah…”
The two worst parts of this whole thing is that a) the students
don’t seem to know that there needs to be a limit to their expression to me and
b) there’s no good way for me to bring this up. I wonder if there’s just a growing trend of self-expression among today’s students or if I’ll just eventually get used to it.
In the meantime, I guess I’ll just keep wearing my crash
helmet to school.