Look, we’ve all seen it happen before, right? A student’s answering or asking a question, has a quick slip of the tongue, and accidentally calls a teacher Mom or Dad. It’s embarrassing, sure, but it happens. And yeah, okay, that usually happens when you’re maybe eleven years old or something, but do you really think it couldn’t also happen to you when you’re older? I think it could; in fact I live in constant fear of it. Could you imagine?
Well, I have imagined, so you don’t have to. Here’s a list of professors I’ve had at this school ranked by how likely I think it is that I might accidentally refer to them as Dad, and look like a real baby boy in the process. I am so terrified of any of them reading this somehow.
Note #1: For my real dad, who is reading this, please don’t take offense to the fact that sometimes I think of other men as my father figure subconsciously. I love you very much but you’ve never once taught me about narrative voice, like some of these men have.
Note #2: This list moves from Least to Most Likely.
- Bryant Kirkland, Classics: Professor Kirkland was here for one year and then left, and while he was one of my favorite professors he was far too young and spritely for me to think of him as my dad. A cool older cousin, maybe, but not dad.
- Piers Brown, English: I would never.
- Dave Harrington, Economics: Nothing here for me at all, really.
- P.F. Kluge, English/Creative Writing: Nothing about Kluge makes me want to call him dad, but I do think he and my actual dad would probably get along decently well, which… I don’t know, do with that what you will, I guess.
- Bruce Kinzer, History: Professor Kinzer is very wise and kind, but also (sorry Bruce) quite old, and is more of a granddad presence, I think.
- David Lynn, English/Creative Writing: Literally every aspect of Professor Lynn that I have interacted with simply SCREAMS “Uncle” to me. Not dad, but closest relative there is to a dad, for the purposes of this list.
- Jeffery Bowman, History: Professor Bowman has the look and feel of a dad, but frankly I just don’t think I got to know him well enough for the thought to cross my mind.
- Bob Mauck, Biology: Bob has a lot of strong Dad Energy about him but, not unlike Professor Bowman, I have yet to reach that place where my subconscious fully fleshes out that association. However I’m currently enrolled in a class with Professor Mauck, so we shall see, things may change.
- Dave Suggs, Anthropology: Professor Suggs exudes Dad Energy, but I know that other students feel this more intensely than I do, and I don’t want to overstep boundaries here. Dave can be your dad, other students, I’m okay with that.
- Cory Koller, Drama/Film: Cory taught my freshman Baby Drama class, and my recent film seminar, so he’s seen me as both the little boy I was and the man I have become. He makes me feel safe and guided. Plus he’s a father himself, and has talked briefly about fatherhood in class before, and honestly? It was stirring. I would conceivably call Cory dad.
- Jim Carson, English: Taught my first ever English class at this school, and another one last year, and I see him at the KAC sometimes. I have come dangerously close to calling him dad in class before, and have had to bite my tongue to stop it.
- Ted Mason, English: Professor Mason has been my adviser here since I was first enrolled in the school, taught my Texting class, and has helped me out of more than a few scrapes, both personal and professional. He’s one of the smartest men I have ever met, and I respect him reverently. That being said, I freely and regularly refer to him as “my academic dad” to friends. I do this often. I have a friend who shares him as her adviser and we joke that we are like half-siblings because we share a dad. I have occasionally referred to him just as “Dad Mason.” Professor Ted Mason is my dad and I live in constant fear that he will find out that I call him this and will think that it’s out of a lack of respect when it is, in fact, quite the opposite.
I do not know what this list proves. Call your dad.