Thanks for the comments on yesterday's post. I know everything that needs to get done this week will get done, and already, between yesterday and today, I've been able to cross quite a bit off my "to do" list, and that's always satisfying and helps me feel a little less overwhelmed.
I don't have much that's exciting today, but as you know, yesterday was my first day of the term, and my students didn't fail in your expectations to have a "weird one or two." Most interesting anecdote? As follows:
After class, students typically stay and speak with me about a variety of concerns or questions, and after my last class, I had a young woman who was standing there with the others and when it was her turn to approach me, she asked simply: "What are you?"
At first, I honestly had no clue what she meant by her question. "What are you?" Was she being practical or existential? With such a perplexing question, I think you'll admire my incredibly astute follow up question: "What?"
She answered: "I mean, what race or ethnicity are you?"
Me: "I'm white."
Her: "Oh, okay." And then she trotted out the door satisfied, apparently, with my response.
Now, here I sit in my office, a full day later, and I am still puzzling over this question. I don't think I've been asked that (except on government forms and job applications), and I have especially never been asked that by a student. I've had students ask a whole rainbow of personal questions, from "How old are you?" to "Are you married?" And I got a whole host of oddball questions and comments when I was visibly pregnant with Norah, but I've never had this one before.
Ahhh, students! They make my life, and job, interesting! "What are you?" Indeed: What am I?