August 27, 2008 at 3:48 pm (anthropology)

I started teaching again this past Monday.  At one point in the lecture, we were discussing cultural assimilation.  I mentioned to the students that I’d been studying “culture” for as long as most of them had been alive, and it would be difficult to put 5 anthropologists in a room and have them reach a consensus on what constituted culture. 

Upon hearing this, the students expressed disbelief, not at the ambiguity of the concept of culture, but at my advanced age.  “Yes,” I assured them, “I started college in 1987.”

My announcement was met with a ripple of audible gasps.  Heads in the back rows swung around dramatically to get a look at the teacher who was pretty much where they are now in their lives in 1987.

Perhaps they were astounded that I have too much youthful energy and good looks for one so aged?


  1. zantimisfit said,

    Yes! You hit it on the head. You are much too vivacious and hip for your age….. um, me too.

  2. Quiconque said,

    Zanti, I am too hip, indeed. I doubt any of their other teachers bothered to draw the links between the cultural legacy of the Puritans and Chris Rock’s stand-up routines. (Although Chris Rock is probably an outdated reference for these kids, too. They were probably too young to watch such ribald humor when his specials aired on HBO).

  3. addie said,

    were your students even born in 1987? no wonder they were stunned.

  4. Quiconque said,

    Probably not, but they should know SOME people who were alive and adults in 1987–namely their parents! Their other professors, too.

  5. Ten Feet of Steel said,

    I bet their confusion is a result of your lack of matronly “aspects”. You are too hip and sharp to be the same age as their friends’ mothers.

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