Who’s Your Teacher, Baby?

I just finished my third and final 4-day weekend as a writing coach with College Summit, and if I didn’t love the kids so much, I’d say, “wow. That was kind of a lot of weekends!” But that being said, I kind of came home a little melted last night. (To be more specific, I watched “Mama Mia!” until 3am. The most important message contained in this blog entry is: Don’t ever see Mama Mia. But I digress.)

In truth, I discovered three very important things at my workshops. The first is that the food is way better at Amherst than at Yale. The second is that I love teaching, and the third is that my love of teaching is the root of my problems with men. (I know…you wouldn’t guess it from all the stories I tell about sobbing on the subway while suffering from Shakespearean unrequited love, but it’s true: I’m bad with boys.)

And here’s why, in no particular order. The list:

7 Reasons Why Loving Teaching Makes Me Undatable:

7. I Appear Emotionally Available, But I Don’t Reveal Anything Important. When teaching, it works well to be able to talk about feelings fluidly, and offer up a great deal of your energy, spirit and personality. But you should avoid telling too many details about your personal life–this counts as breaking boundaries. With guys, if you easily offer up your energy, spirit and personality, they think you like them, and they think they know you. But when they learn all the real stuff later, they get mad when you turn out to be not who they thought you were.

6. I have the maturity level of 16-year old. This probably doesn’t need much explaining.

5. I do a ton of yoga. When you tell kids that you do yoga, they get excited about possibly doing yoga in class, and if you do, and it goes well, they get up announce at closing ceremonies about how you enhanced possibilities for their writing by opening their minds with yoga. Win! But when you tell a guy that you do yoga, he gets excited because he thinks there’s possibility that you can get your legs behind your head, and you’re telling him about yoga because you really want to demonstrate it.

4. I like to nurture. Kids needs nurture. If you ask a kid a bunch of times if he’s ok, he feels like someone is looking out for him, and will accept your generosity. If you ask a guy a bunch of times if he’s ok, he will ultimately say, “Shut up! I’m watching the game.”

3. I had no friends for most of elementary and middle school. Kids love to hear that someone was a total loser and survived mostly unscathed. But guys either start to wonder if you are still a total loser, or take advantage of your low self-esteem caused by years of friendlessness.

2. I have a lot of energy in the morning. Kids need to someone to set an example. You’d be surprised how contagious energy is. If you can be awake, often the kids can, too. But guys need to sleep late on Saturday and Sunday. If you have too much energy in the morning, they might say: “Maybe next week we shouldn’t stay together both weekend nights.”

1. I love the sound of my own voice. When you’re a teacher, you have to talk a lot. Loving to hear yourself talk can make the day really fly by! But if you are with a guy and you talk too much, everything you say will fly by unheard, because he starts completely tuning you out.


9 thoughts on “Who’s Your Teacher, Baby?

  1. I think this is quite brilliant. You've really hit on something true here. Would another teacher be a better fit for you than someone outside of academia? At least he should be aware that he isn't getting your full story in your early sharing…

  2. RB, this is very amusing!

    I'm glad you had a great time teaching, but I'm wondering if what I smell here is the faint but distinct waft of depression talking?

    Or at the very least, some rather negative views on yourself shining through here.

    You're not undatable. I don't think that's true at all.

    For sure there's some truth in what you've written and I can relate to #7, 5 & 3. But your conclusions? Some of them could easily be re-written with a much more positive viewpoint.

    Hope you're hanging in there!

  3. Something about the trailer for Mamma Mia told me that I should stay away despite it featuring Streep.

    But #6 is a turn-off? Really? I genuinely thought a light, less self-aware sense of humor was in? Then again, I can provide several examples of me always being wrong.

  4. Was never really tempted to see Mama Mia…even though Meryl Streep can making even the worst movies worth watching (I'm looking at you “Devil Wears Prada”)…the only thing more lame than Abba is the campy “love” for Abba so many hipsters have.

    I can relate to most of your points here, except for the morning thing…then, morning people are fine as long as they're not self-righteous about it…

  5. RB, this is HILARIOUS. In fact I think the funniest part is that you think anyone needs you to tell them to avoid Mamma Mia. 🙂


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