Friday, October 26, 2007

Mum's the Word

I'm often asked why I don't teach at the University level. My first reply is always, "I don't have an advanced degree." My second reply is, "It would take more gas to get to campus than it currently does," and my final reply (they usually ask me for 3 main reasons, go figure!) is usually much more discursive and personal.

Here's reason number 3. It's because . . . . .

I love the atmosphere of high school. The young, impressionable, teenage students are so unique--their habits and rashness, their awkwardness, their fearlessness and risk-taking, their naivet
é and hyperbolic sense of the world. The drama of a high school corridor is always entertaining, with different sagas being told behind impish giggles, gaping incredulity, or with malicious malcontent. The diversions, hijinks, and antics of teenagers always awakens a comical sense of theater in me. Each passing event is a dire emergency for the students involve.

If our school had a daily paper published by students, matters of "who's going out with who?" or "Who did WHAT last night at Starbucks?!" or "I am SO not ready for this Algebra Test!" or "Did you see what's on so-and-so's MySpace page!?" to "Can you believe what happened last night on Grey's Anatomy!?" would front page news . Oh, the timeless, gawky, beautiful dance of youth!

Drama is never greater on campus than during homecoming week, with the dress up theme days throughout the week and the jingling, jangling sounds and fragrant smell of mums on Friday, the day of the big district homecoming game. What's made the energy level greater than usual today, other than the fact that I'm back at school from my day off, is that both teams in tonight's football game are undefeated at 7-0. Now I know homecoming games are chosen at the beginning of the season, and are ideally chosen so that a victory is all but guaranteed (losing the game tends to be a bit of a downer to everyone except the happy King and Queen who get to wear a large, silly crown and pose for the real paper), but I don't think anyone envisioned tonight's game would be a clash of district titans. There is much at stake tonight for our team's confidence and playoff aspirations. Go team!

So you see, I never think I would make the jump to the University level, because I'd be losing the intensely entertaining sub-culture of the high school histrionics, a culture that mirrors my own personality and tastes. Even if I ever DID finish my Master's degree and earn a Ph.D. in mathematics (which IS a personal yearning), I'd still teach right here at the high school level. I have always thought it would sound kind of neat to hear a giddy student ask me, "Dr. Mr. Honorable Kevin Korpi, Ph.D. Sir, would you mind dressing up in drag and dancing the Macarena at the pep-rally this Friday?"

I've got my prepared response: "I'd be happy to! I'll do anything to help pep up the dance of youth. Should I bring my own pumps?"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

GO UNICORNS -- Win tonight's game!

GO KORPI -- Win tomorrow's emmy!