Don't Stand so Close to Me

Final Exam, Extra Credit Question: What is one thing you learned or gained in this class?
A: “… The last thing I took out of this class is that professors are not all old and males. Some are actually pretty hot and stressful like the rest of society. Thank you Prof.
P.S. and I did mean the hot part. Wink, wink. ”

Clearly, this student wanted to add points to his grade with flattery. It gave me a welcome chuckle as I slaved over the 120 mostly sub-par exams. I grade without looking at names. After scoring this one, I had to flip the cover and see whose it was. Jorge. He’s the cute one. The one I came the closest to having a crush on, but which I duly nipped in the bud, I thought. Now the semester had ended. I still had all my students’ email addresses. I couldn’t help thinking, what if I emailed him? Is this just flattery or an invitation for me to ask him out? I got so far as to come up with an email. Something flirty yet noncommittal that he could choose to respond to or not, so my dignity could remain intact. Could it?

I decided once that teacher-student dating could be ethical if done after the student has finished the course and if the student is not majoring in that subject and would not be that teacher’s student again. My conditions were now met, probably, maybe, as far as I could reasonably be expected to know.

I noticed him the first class. He had a bad-boy geekiness to him that I find almost irresistible. Except that he seemed so young, somewhere between 18-21. That’s gross!--way too young. He talked to me after that class, wanted to know how long I had been teaching. Then he said, “See, it’s always the young ones who are the best teachers.” I laughed. Whatever! I know better than to believe that line (but it’s still nice to hear).

I spent the semester squelching my attraction for him. But he always participated, had great questions, did well on exams, and he came to see me in my office for help with his paper, twice. He didn’t make it easy for me not to notice him. One class, I sent everyone off to work on their papers while I stayed in the room to answer questions. Jorge stayed behind and wanted to talk about the reading. The girl who followed him around like a puppy also stayed along with another guy I found attractive. Jorge wanted to try teaching to see if he got it right. So I sat in the front row with the others. He did a good job. The four of us chatted and discussed the material intermittently. I really wanted to go home. I really wanted them to stop asking me questions so I could go work on my over-due paper.
Then I noticed his tattoo. He has a serpent slithering up his neck and behind his ear. Very, very sexy. I couldn’t help it, it caused a visceral reaction. Afterwards, I found I had to avert my eyes away from it whenever he talked to me.

Analytical people don’t have as many relationships as non-analytical people. Those cursed with highly analytical natures don’t get involved without doing a cost-benefit analysis, assessing the risks and potential for success. If the risk to potential ratio is too high, then we avoid it. This does not make for romantic 'how did you meet?' stories: "Well, after analyzing his personality, ambitions, emotional functioning, domestic habits, body odor, etc. I then compared these to my own. I found the resulting equation gave me sufficient reason to ask him out." "Yes. And on our anniversary, we always celebrate the fact that our finely tuned critical thinking skills brought us together by doing proofs of natural deduction together, by candlelight."
Since I am one of these unlucky, unromantic persons, I too work the equation. However, I used to date just for fun. I went out with non-members knowing we had a guaranteed break-up. Being older, I now know that dating is in fact, not only not fun, but one of the most humiliating and torturous activities known to man. Rationally, it’s not worth pursuing someone with whom I have no potential.

Jorge fits into the waste of time category. With the age difference and the religion and no sex thing, our potential hits the red zone. If I didn’t believe in my religion and the covenants I have made, then I could date Jorge for fun. He’d probably be a great boy-toy I could have lots of sex with. Since that's not an option, I haven’t sent Jorge the email. If I weren’t so committed, would I have emailed? No doubt, in like two seconds flat. And no way I'd be blogging right now either.

Good thing I don’t have him this term. Imagine having a student for four months who had written you a note like the one above. A student I couldn’t help being attracted to, and who would probably grow bolder as I grew weaker. If he’s in my 300-level class next year, I can see the disaster already.... He walks in the first day, a year older. My jaw hits the floor as I try to compose myself and drop all my papers instead. My usual first-class ‘I’m a nazi professor don’t even think about pissing me off’ routine would totally not happen. Drooling professors aren’t scary. What if he sat in the front row this time? That would ruin my mojo. I’d probably stutter, get distracted and lose my place. Then I’d get annoyed at myself and angry. . . It just can’t happen! Sting, I hope I never sing your song.

"Young teacher,....she wants him so badly, knows what she wants to be, inside her there's longing, this girl's an open-page. . .Sometimes it's not so easy to be the teacher's pet. Temptation, frustration...Don't stand so, don't stand so, Please don't stand so close to me. .." --The Police.

Come back for more TRUE stories of the strange, sad and pathetically hilarious exploits of me not having sex in the city.