I love exploring new blogs especially when the reader is a newly subscriber of MiddleMe. I stumbled upon Mark’s website and found myself reading post after post. His stories are genuine and real, something I can truly relate with. Here is one of his post and I hope that you enjoyed it as much as I do.
My second semester in my reboot college career was starting off pretty good. With one full semester under my belt I was feeling more confident about my choice to return to school. Even though I didn’t really make any sold friendships I was becoming more comfortable being around my classmates who were mostly between the ages of 18 and 20 years. Even though I was still a little apprehensive to start a conversation with them, my confidence was growing day by day realizing that we are all there for the most part to earn an education.
Starting a conversation with someone I didn’t know was somewhat easy for me with my sales experience. I was the one who primarily initiated conversation at school, other than the professor teaching the class. Most of the time the ‘kids’ in the class just looked at me with the ‘what’s the old guy doing here?’ gaze. But all that would change on the second day of my first ‘spring’ semester. Before I continue, I feel I need to describe my physical self. I am a 6-foot, 235 lb., white, male, bald (greying), with a goatee in his mid-forties. It was a pleasantly surprised when follow happen to me.
It was the first day of class for a micro economics class in one of those cinder block classrooms. I sat down toward the front of the classroom and started to get out a notebook and pen. Then I heard this voice from a perky young co-ed (get you mind out of the gutter) ask me the following question, “Are you the professor?” I was stymied, I was literally lost for words. But after a few seconds, I answered, “No, I am not”. Without thinking I asked back, “why do you ask?” as if I didn’t realize what I looked like. She then proceeded to tell me the following in a quick gossipy teenage girl tone…
“Well, my friend Jessica told me that she heard that there is this older professor that likes to dress up like he is a college student on the first day of class. He sits in the class like he’s a student and then this creep tries to find out what the students know or think about him, the school, and like all that other stuff. Don’t you think that’s weird? I mean that’s pretty sneaky and cruel. Why would anyone do that? That’s real jerky, don’t ya think? I mean really, get a life!”
Jackpot! I couldn’t pass this up!
“Really, wow, yes that is odd. Why would someone do that?” in my hope she did not notice her flaw. “I know, what an a-hole!” she responded. I glanced at the clock over her shoulder, its 5 minutes past the official start time and no professor. This is too good to be true. Am I really going to do this, yes, I am. We proceeded to exchange a little more about this “jerk, creep, a-hole” of a professor. Every statement for me encouraging her to just keep going. She continued to trash this professor and educate me to “be aware” of some of these professors on how they are all against the students and try to make college life so difficult for them. She looks like she just had a ‘sweet 16’ birthday party last weekend, and she is lecturing me, OK, sure, whatever. At about 9 minutes late I politely stopped and then went for it…
“I really appreciate the advice and sorry to stop you, but I need to get the class started”, then a perplexing look appeared on her face. I stood up to get out of my seat and proceeded to walked up to the front of class. She looked like she was going to die. What was going through her mind, I will never know, but I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity. She definitely was panic sickened. I throughout my soda can in the trash can at the front of the room and as I turned the real professor enter the room and apologized for being late. As I sat back down in my seat, the panic faced turn into bewilderment. My response to her as I sat back down, “Sorry, I just couldn’t resist the opportunity”, and then realized how much fun I could have amongst these millennials.
It took a few classes, but we did talk about what transpired between her and I that first day. She realized her mistake, understood why I did what I did and forgave me, thank God. We did become so-so friends and did helped each other out on some homework assignments. And yes, we both were able to laugh about it in time, me more than her.
Lasting Though: In the college word, and in the real world as well, be careful who and what you say to someone until you know who you are exactly talking to. Without thinking you just may impact your future in a way that you didn’t intend to.
Mark, the author of The College Dad Experience, shares his experiences when he went back to college for my mid-life crisis.