I don't understand it,
the need of my students
to be "friendly" with me.
I understand their silliness,
their endless questions
about material covered endlessly.
But then they cluster around
at the end of classes, follow me
into the cafeteria,
force me to eat my bear claw
with them standing watch over me.
I don't think I'm approachable.
I don't believe I welcome it.
My head is down during bear claw time;
there is no other way to do it.
I don't accept their invites to
mixers, football games, or lunch with their parents.
I don't give off the "I need a pal" vibe
that seems a tragic flaw in some of my colleagues.
(Oh, I've always though Kalamazoo Katie
was just down my hallway...)
But in the past years
I have been proffie and friend
to my students.
Oh, I suppose there was
a momentary rise in my esteem
when I realized I was a favored one,
a beloved one.
But I was younger then,
and as I now have a wife and 7 friends,
and we are all 50+, I truly
don't need a dozen 19 year old people
in my life,
telling me about their boyfriends, their sisters,
about Bruno Mars and his soulful music,
their trouble with a roommate, a swollen patch of skin,
a desire to be blonder, faster, leaner, more attractive to the frat slugs.
I want them to gasp when I arrive in class,
react respectfully when I talk,
burst open in applause when I burp,
and then run away from me at the end of class.
There is a lovely quad to walk,
and I've always loved to do it alone.
And there is, of course,
the bear claw.