Sunday, January 17, 2010

Will You Still Teach Me When I'm 64?

The first day of classes reveals a lot about the upcoming semester: how uncomfortable is your chair, how strict is the professor, and who else is taking the class.

Last week when I was waiting for my "Intermediate Fiction" class to start, one new classmate was particularly intriguing. A man in his 70s tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Is this seat taken?" Yes, one of my classmates...was an old man. I have to admit I was terribly curious as to why he was there, but no one else was acknowledging (at least out loud) on the peculiarity of the situation.

During the "tell us about yourself" portion of every first class, I found out that his name was David, he was taking part in the Alumni Course Audit Program where graduates of GW and neighbors to campus over the age of 60 can take courses for no credit. David said this spring is not the first time he has taken a class, and "Intermediate Fiction" seemed like a logical follow-up after taking "Intermediate Poetry."

While I must admit I was rather uncomfortable when David first sat down, I've come to like attending class with him. He actually adds valuable discussion to class and has interesting opinions. He does have some annoying "old man" qualities such as calling me "Miss" and saying "mmhmm" to everything the professor says, but by our second class he began to grow on me.
Although David is a rather unusual classmate, I'd definitely take him over a hungover frat boy.

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