Sunday, May 21, 2006

Walking the gauntlet

lucyrain made a comment couple of posts down about being excited to be mistaken for an undergrad. Half of me agrees -- you know you're not turtle-y old and wrinkly when you get, "Hey, you're the first girl I know who's played Diablo!!" But yo, I'm teaching first-years in the fall. I want to look imposing and teacher-ly. I'd love it if they were PETRIFIED of me. Alas -- students can sniff out my friendliness. Both my mom and I have rather open faces with friendly puffy cheekbones when we smile. So I'm planning to rely on props like jackets and leather briefcases to give me, at least psychologically, the authority I feel is difficult project as a relatively young woman. And not to smile for the first few weeks.

The not-smiling is a tactic I've perfected, in fact, walking a certain stretch of brick sidewalk on campus. This particular tree- and building-lined avenue is regularly lined with students who erect big fabric signs advertising their concerts, dances, frat parties, etc., and who smilingly thrust fliers at those who walk by. This pisses the shit out of me. So I do my best I'm-in-New-York-don't-fuck-with-me impression whenever I walk down that alley. Mouth set. Eyes sweeping over everyone but stopping on no one. Walk brisk, but not hurried.

If I looked 5 or 10 years older, I wouldn't have to frown defensively. I would get flyer immunity. As it is, I'm too nervous that I'll be mistaken for a potential a cappella concert or bhangra dance party attendee to stop frowning.

No comments: