The Seven Times I Accidentally Called My Professor “Dad”
College can be a confusing time. You’re thrust into a new environment and expected to land on your feet. But sometimes you confuse your professor with your father. These are the seven times that happened to me.
1. In Office Hours
It was my first office hours, and I was brimming with excitement at the prospect of a one-on-one with my professor. At the conclusion of our meeting, he stood up and shook my hand. As our fingers interlocked and his hand tightened around mine, I blurted, “Thank you, Dad, I enjoyed this meeting.” I quickly left.
2. On The Street
I was minding my own business, gliding down Sheridan on my fixed-gear bike. My day was going great, but it got even better when I saw my professor walking toward me. I stopped my bike, leaving a thick, rubbery skid mark and said, “Great lecture yesterday, Dad, I love hearing you speak.” He did not stop to listen.
3. In an Email
I was working on a paper for the class and had some questions about my thesis statement. Somehow, even after a careful proofread, I unintentionally included a line that said, “I look forward to your notes, and I miss you, Dad.” I did not receive a response to this email.
4. In Office Hours, Again
I decided to return to office hours, mainly so I could apologize for my email. When I saw my professor reclining confidently in his desk chair, something came over me, and even though I did not want to, I said, “The bond between Dad and son is one of nature’s strongest, and we have that bond, Dad.” I left before I could say any more.
5. Standing Up in Class
The professor was handing out our midterms, and when he placed mine on my desk, I could not hold myself back. I turned to face the class--I don’t know why--and I loudly said, “Thank you, Dad, for my midterm. I want to do well on this to please you and make you proud of me. That is all that matters to me, pleasing you I mean.” I did not get a good grade on the test.
6. Calling Him on His Home Phone in the Middle of the Night
I have only sleep-walked once in my life, and this was that one time. One morning, my roommate, Evan, showed me a video of me calling my professor on his home phone at 4:13 AM saying “I am sorry that I’m calling you at 4:13 AM, Dad, I justed wanted to remind you of your paternal obligation to me, your son.” I used my last minutes on that call.
7. Showing Up at His Home
It was a Saturday, and I had some time to kill. I darted over to my professor’s home on my trusty one-speed. I knocked on his door, and his wife answered. I said, “Hello, is my Dad home? I love him and want to play catch with him.” I did not know why I said the thing about playing catch, but then I looked down and saw that I had unknowingly brought along my mitt and my ball. The professor was not home, so I left on my bike and cried with Evan all night.