First Week Introductions
I made it through the first week of classes. As is almost always the case, I don't teach on Fridays. And as is certainly always the case, I am thoroughly worn out and overwhelmed by the workload already piled on my desk.
At some point during the first day of a class, I ask the students to introduce themselves. They are to tell:
One thing they love
One thing they hate
At least a few of them are openly uncomfortable, but I don't care. It's a creative writing workshop. This little introduction is but a tiny toe dipped into the Lake of Discomfort to come. I'm trying to loosen them up.
In one class, a girl named Alex gets to the love part: "I love reading and God. I really like going to church, which I realize not a lot of people like, but I do." She looks sheepish and I am truly impressed that she's said what she's said. The college classroom (at least in a generic university) is often brutal toward the "churchy."
I say "Well, I like church, too. So there." She smiles and goes on to her "hate," which is "getting deodorant on my shirt and having it show up all day without me knowing it."
The guy behind her, and next in line to go, is about 35. He gets to the thing he loves: "Well I love the student atheistic club on campus, of which I am president." The class howls with laughter.
I look at Alex and stage whisper to her: "We must work on his soul together." The atheist, Bob, lets out a bit of a half-laugh.
To ease his mind I say "Any Buddhists in the room?" and this long haired longing-to-be-a-hippie boy with an unbearably cute face and giant puppy-dog eyes raises his hand.
"Dude! I'm the treasurer of the Pagans on Campus!" he proudly announces.
One of the last girls to speak says "I also love God. And I love milk. I drink a full gallon every two days and I've never broken a bone or had a cavity."
We all sit in amazement, and I wonder if I will ever look at her and not associate her with God and milk.