Saturday, October 03, 2009

Have you met Mr. Edwards' wife?

It's always amusing to meet J.'s students. They always exclaim, with that profuse enthusiasm endemic to young teenagers, "You're so pretty!" and stare wide-eyed at me while J. makes chitchat. Once we move on, they start furiously whispering to each other.

While this is flattering, I think it's more to do with the surprise of encountering the outside life of a teacher, plus just some plain 'ole curiosity about who on earth would possibly want to be married to the big bad chemistry teacher. I think their exclamations of my "prettiness" is a gloss over what they're really thinking: "Wow, she's young and has no warts!" That, and the fact that I don't wear penny loafers or Mom jeans (my preferences running more towards Sauconys and dark wash jeans), combines to completely disrupt their preconceived notions of what "Mr. Edwards' wife" is like.

J. told me about an exchange between two of his students that he overheard earlier that week. One of the boys whispered something to another boy, whose face swiftly adopted a perplexed expression as he wasn't sure he heard his friend correctly, "Have I smelled Mr. Edwards' wife?"

Seeing as I thought "loan" sounded like "markers" while I was working at the reference desk the other week, it's quite plausible that "seen" could be confused with "smelled," especially considering the tendencies of young people to mumble and slur their words.

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