Wednesday, November 13, 2013


This post is going to be both about a situation that just happened and about putting my friendship with Kyle into a slightly more positive context, because I realized that I don't really do that and it's a bit unfair to him.  He's a better friend than I make him out to be when I'm mad.

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Yesterday, my history professor came onto me.

It was as creepy (to me) as it seems.  He's a very nice man, not very old...maybe mid-30s.  He's also rather attractive, in a rugged way.  Last Thursday, the lecture was on the topic we'd written essays on for that class (our weekly assignment is a 2 page paper), and since I'd already spent two days writing about the topic, my mind started to drift.  I noticed that my professor has incredibly gorgeous green eyes, and before I knew it, I was staring.  Unfortunately, he noticed...probably not difficult because I sit in the front row closest to the computer he runs his PowerPoint presentations from.  He let me know he'd caught me, and the shade of red I turned obviously let him know I found him good looking.

So yesterday, I was the first one in the classroom, about fifteen minutes before class started.  I was reading "The Jungle" on my Kindle app, and he rolled his chair over to the front of my desk to see what I was reading.  This was weird enough, because it's not like him at all...but it got WAY weirder when he put his hand on my leg under the desk.  I barely had time to register what happened, and no time to react.  Someone else walked in and my teacher rolled away calmly like nothing had happened.  I noticed him watching me a lot more during the lecture, but I tried to ignore it.

This isn't exactly uncommon here at King's.  My organic chemistry teacher is married to a philosophy student...and by that, I mean a current student.  My choir director started dating his wife when she was a student here.  It's just bound to happen that some people will meet their future spouses here...and that sometimes it will be a teacher/student.  (To clarify, neither of those men ever taught or had any power over the grades of either of their SOs.)  However, my history teacher knows I'm married.  The entire thing was really creepy to me.

So anyway, it was bothering me pretty badly yesterday...and Trisha, busy with the mess she created, was unavailable for me to talk to.  I had no choice but to turn to Kyle...and today, he showed the side of himself you guys don't often see because your entire point of view comes from me and it's always when I'm upset.  I'm not always fair to him.  He was angry and a little protective, like a big brother would be...but also incredibly logical about the whole thing.  We both knew confronting my teacher would not get me anywhere, since I'm a student and he's a respected faculty member.  Withdrawing would only negatively affect my GPA, since I have a perfect grade in his class.  It would also either delay my graduation or overload one of my future semesters, and I'm already nearing the overload limit for courses.

At first, I kept the details from Kyle and told him the absolute barest information...that my teacher had touched me in a mildly inappropriate way, it made me uncomfortable, and his intent was clear.  Kyle told me not to confront him, but to keep our relationship completely teacher/student until the semester ended.  After he'd assuaged my anxiety with his calm and logical demeanor, I offhandedly mentioned what had happened and how if I avoided being the first one in the classroom, it wouldn't happen again.  Kyle's demeanor changed here.  Even through text, I could see how the facts had bothered him.  This was the conversation that occurred:

Me:  It won't be able to happen again if I'm not alone in the classroom with him.  I was reading on my phone and it was really odd when he rolled over to see what I was reading.  It got straight-up weird when he put his hand on my leg under my desk.  He pulled away when someone else walked in, I just have to avoid being the first one to class.
Kyle:  That's not exactly innocent.
Me:  I never said it was innocent...I said it wasn't completely inappropriate.
Kyle:  Pretty close...
Me:  What did you think I meant when I said that, then?
Kyle:  I don't know
Kyle:  I thought maybe he'd touched your shoulder or something, I don't know.
Me:  I wouldn't be making a big deal out of it if it was something like that, know me better than that.
Kyle:  I know
Me:  But you think it'll go away still, right?  (My English reverts to bad English when I start to get upset, and his being upset was causing the uprising of panic.)
Kyle:  Yea
Kyle:  If it doesn't, maybe have a quiet word with him about it

I know you guys don't know him, so I'll "translate" (so to speak) for you.  If I know someone really well, I can tell their tone through text...I can do this with Bryan, my mom, Trisha, and Kyle.  His response about it not being innocent was very sharp.  It was the onset of his protective instinct.  I realized how protective he'd gotten a few minutes later when he said it was "pretty close" to inappropriate.  He never leaves a hanging ellipsis unless he is really angry or sad about something.  Repeating himself is something he does when he's bothered about something as well.

It's probably a small thing, honestly, to be protective over someone you care about.  But consider Kyle a Vulcan...emotion isn't his thing.  He's a completely logical human being.  In that way, our friendship has balance...I'm too emotional by half, as you guys are well aware.

Anyway, I just needed to get all of this off my chest, because it really did bother me.  I decided that I won't go to anyone about it unless it happens again, and that I won't be dropping the class.  I will just make sure never to be alone with my professor for any reason.  I also wanted to give you guys a glimpse of the kind of friend Kyle used to be.  His behavior has definitely changed because of her, but I still see his actual personality shining through occasionally.  It gives me a faint bit of cautious hope.


6 comments: said...

That is a big thing with the interwebs or heck even in person. We do not know the person, but we judge based on what we do know. It is a common reaction.

How many times a week do you have that class? That is pretty crappy of the professor to do that, especially since there should be a no dating a student you teach policy.

Hopefully he will not do it again but if he does i am glad you will be reporting it. Look at him angry next class (not super angry, just not too open) so that he gets the hint you are not amused.

J said...

I am absolutely not interested in my teacher in the slightest, or starting anything like that with anyone at all. I hope I can make him understand that through body language.

I only have the class twice a's a Tuesday/Thursday course. The semester is almost more month.


mum said...

What does Brandon have to say about it? mum

J said...

Honestly, I didn't tell him. I know I shouldn't keep things like that from him, but he tends to be pretty jealous and he would probably try to beat up my teacher. The only people I've confided in are you guys and Kyle.

J said...

Ok, i have posted comments that keep not getting posted. GRRRR

I had said i think it is a good idea not to tell him right now, if it happens again of course, but you do not want him to over react.

I am not one for keeping secrets but sometimes they are necessary.

J said...

Sweet, I don't know why your comments aren't posting...I took the moderation off, and now suddenly I'm getting zero comments. I'll put it back on and see what happens.

Anyway, I completely agree. Was it a serious incident? Yes. Is it worth the inevitable blowup he would have and the fight it would start? Definitely not. If it happens again, which I doubt because he's been very professional these last few classes, I will tell Bryan and pretty much everyone else. I hate keeping secrets myself, but sometimes you just don't have a choice. Keeping the secret is less damaging than letting it out in the open.