Sunday, August 26, 2007

Settling in

Finally a free moment . . . and its only 12:18 am. Well, Athens reminds one of Oregon, if it were in the Midwest--Just as green, but really humid with a slight accent. In fact, it feels (literally) a lot like Japan. After a week of unpacking and furniture hunting and three drives to Columbus I am ready for another Sunday. Last night I picked up my friend David Grover from the airport in Columbus and we got home about 8pm. Melissa went to a movie with some ladies from the Church and I put kids to bed and promptly fell asleep on a text book.

This morning we went garage sale-ing and ran into David again, so he tagged along and we drove from one end of the valley to the other in what turned out to be a fairly successful garage sale-ing adventure. We came home with a kitchen table, a book shelf, and a crib. Even Callan found what he was looking for. We gave him four quarters and told him he could buy what ever he wanted with it and he said, "I want to buy a fire station." We laughed and told him we could look for one but not to get his hopes up. However, at the second garage sale we stopped at Callan found an old Little People playset that included a fire station, and it was only a dollar.

Tonight I went with David to Jackie-O's, a bar in Athens where the OU English department holds occasional mix-n-mingle type gatherings. We met several people from the program, all very interesting, very unique, very IN to literature. This is the second bar mixer I've been to in the past year and they both had three things in common. The music was too loud, the lights were too low, and I had to shout in order to be heard. The typical conversation went something like this:

Me(Shouting): Hi, I'm Joey whats your name?

Stranger (shouting): I'm Jacob.

Me (shouting): Excuse me?

Stranger (louder): Jacob!

Me (still shouting): Nice to meet you!

Stranger (shouting): Are you English?

me: What?

Stranger: What are you studying?

me: English! Creative Writing! Nonfiction.

Stranger: Cool.

Me: What about you?

Stranger: Pardon?

Me: What are you studying?...

You get the idea.

It's exciting to be part of a group of people so interested in learning, reading, writing, and thinking. Its also extremely scary. I feel a bit like a 120 pound freshman trying out for the varsity football team, surrounded by beefcake giants who wonder if I'm in the wrong place. I'm going to be teaching college freshman a week from Tuesday, and between now and then its my responsibility to transform myself into a college teacher. One conversation I had tonight revolved around professorial titles. I explained to a pair of PhD students that when and if I get my PhD I wouldn't want the title Doctor, because, as I explained, I don't check orifices, and the only people I call doctor are the people who check orifices. They both currently teach, as I will soon and they mentioned that their students call them Mr. so and so, or Miss So and so, or just so and so, but the consensus was that first names were a good way to go. And when I think about it, my favorite teachers, the ones I felt were the most interested in me and my success always went by first name with their students. At BYU the title "Brother" and "Sister" helped eliminate the decision about saying "Dr. Jones," or "Professor Jones" or Mr. Jones" but even that felt too formal. So Joey it always has been, and Joey it always will be. I still feel like a little kid with a speech impediment when I introduce myself as Joey, but I feel fake when I say Joe, and like a complete space alien if I say Joseph, so diminutive or not, I'm Joey, your English 151 teacher. Welcome to class.


David Grover said...

Joey, if we both post about the same things, someone's gonna realize that the truth is variable. Careful! We should agree on our perception of the truth beforehand so as to protect our profession.

mayday said...

Good luck! I hope it goes well. I'm sure you'll do grrrrreeeeaaaat!