Friday, September 11, 2009

Using "The Dad Voice" as a Rhetorical Tool: Day 8 as a T.A.

Today was the first day I had to use my "Dad Voice." The classroom was getting a bit too chatty while I was trying to carry on my lesson. After a soft-spoken, "Guys?", I barked out a "HEY!" It worked remarkably well. For those of you who don't know me, I'm 51 years old, bald with a gray goatee and, I'm told, broad shoulders. Also, my natural facial expression tends toward the unhappy. Even when I smile, the corners of my mouth turn down.

In essence, I look like way more of a badass than I'll ever be. The look has served me well over the years and kept me out of many a fight. Being able to add both the "Dad Voice" and "Dad Glare" to my repertoire has helped instill general classroom compliance

I imagine this can be a bit harder for some of the younger TAs -- those who are barely 4 or 5 years older than their students, but this is one of those times in life when being old really does have its advantages.

Last semester, while still an undergrad, I had a chance to talk with one of the other grad student/teachers. I admitted to him my nervousness over teaching. He told me not to worry -- They would take one look at me and know who was in charge.

It's a little like spiders; they're more afraid of you than you are of them.

But, I guess like spiders, if you don't crush them, they can come back to bite you on the ass later.

Hooked on "Quack"

5:00a.m., 29 degrees outside and frozen boots on my feet means only one thing, it's duck and goose season. Well, we are gearing up for the season that arrives soon by attending a banquet tonight sponsored by Ducks Unlimited. Myself and several of my buddies are going to the shin-ding to swap stories and tell lies about past hunting seasons. But, I'm in a weird place this year and I'm not sure what's happening. I have all the gear and shotguns and decoys any amature hunter would ever need but that's not the problem. Here goes, I don't know if I want to hunt anymore. Let's forget the whole argument about "killing animals" and shit like that, I won't even entertain the argument. I eat what I hunt, period, end of conversation. My issue is not a moral dilemma but more of a change of interests. I took up with these guys years ago as a way to join in their "reindeer" games and fit in with the fellas in my new found surroundings, namely Southern Maryland. Now, after 20 years in the area, I finally am accepted and fit in, so to speak. I have friends who would never eat meat, much less hunt. They have not 'shunned' me but may not have known about my hunting activities. My daughter cringed several years ago when I told her I had just returned from goose hunting.
I'm 51 years old and I'm starting to mellow a little and think I might just sit on the sidelines this year and watch the geese fly overhead. Well hell, maybe not.

ex-wife #13

I don't remember what attracted me to Terri, but maybe it was the fact that she always had cigarettes. She rarely wore shirts, preferring to sport a bra only which worked well in the Maryland heat. But after she chopped the roof off my work truck, I called it quits.