Mark Gammon, who just got a tenure-track position as a religion professor at a college in Iowa, has decided he now needs to work on developing his "mythos -- by which I mean the collection of legends, personality traits, and nicknames passed from student to student through the years." He's already gotten something of a rep for calling Jesus a "bad-ass demon killer," but now he's thinking bigger:
First, the office. To now, it has been the office of a transient visiting instructor -- empty cardboard boxes, blank walls, unorganized piles of crap, and a conspicuous lack of necessary office supplies. I have certain elements of the hip, young whimsical professor (Buddy Christ, Grover pencil cup, religion-oriented cartoons on the door), and at least two elements of the "bachelor don" persona -- Victorianesque love seat and complete set of Barth's Church Dogmatics. So, the question is what direction to go. I'm leaning toward a third-way -- displaced overeducated Southerner, something like Faulkner on a bender. The furniture in there is conspicuously bland, so it is going to have to be done with smoke and mirrors until time allows the purchase of suitable bookcases and a real desk. The other option is the absent-minded slob look, but the philosophy professor down the hall seems to have that one going (along with the grandpa glasses and the always messed-up collar).
Jennifer reminisced about one of her own more mythological teachers, a glamorous redhead with short skirts, a mysterious accent, an absent husband and a penchant for sherry.
The only teacher I remember having who was quite that colorful was my high-school chemistry teacher. He had the mad-scientist look going -- shaggy white hair, thick glasses, old sneakers. He had a boom box he used for playing the Grateful Dead during lab assignments. His car was an old yellow Honda with a bumper sticker saying, "Chemistry teachers have better reactions." He also had a fetish for flies; the back door of the classroom was completely decorated with, er, fly art.
Not surprisingly perhaps, he began the first day of class with, "You're going to have to ignore some rumors you've heard about me."Posted by Camassia at February 06, 2004 02:41 PM | TrackBack