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Forever Young November 28, 2012

Posted by mareserinitatis in teaching.

My car was in the shop yesterday, and I had to get a courtesy vehicle to come and pick me up when it was ready.  The way my schedule worked, it was easiest for them to pick me up after teaching.  When it came, therefore, it picked me up from the middle of campus.

As I was chit-chatting with the driver of the vehicle, he asked if I was a student.

I’m always amused by this question (or sometimes comment) given I’m old enough to be the parent of many of my students.  And I seem to get it a lot. Granted, I think some of it is that I’m in a university setting.  Chances of someone being a student are pretty large, especially if they’re still toting backpacks around, so I imagine that’s part of the reason.  Maybe I don’t look ‘teacherly’ enough.

I’m enjoying getting the question for now, but I have to wonder what will make it stop.  When I get gray hairs?  More wrinkles? Stop carrying a backpack?  Using a cane?  My kids are too big to haul around in strollers, so doing that isn’t an option.

What do you think separates the students from the teachers/professors in terms of looks?



1. Kari - November 28, 2012

Hard to say. People often think I am younger than my age as well. Some factors that usually contribute to people thinking this:
1) I have chubby cheeks. Chubby cheeks = less wrinkles = people think I’m younger.
2) I have very pale skin. Fair skin = doesn’t get out much = must be a student = people think I’m younger
3) I don’t wear makeup. No makeup = doesn’t care about appearance = must be a student = people think I’m younger.
4) I don’t style my hair. Boring hair = doesn’t care about appearance = must be a student = people think I’m younger.
5) I don’t wear traditional business attire. Casual clothing = doesn’t care about appearance = must be a student = people think I’m younger.
6) I like to color my hair. Colored hair = no gray hair = people think I’m younger.

When I don’t color my hair for a long time, then people usually start to see me as my own age because gray hair = old. For you this might not have a huge impact, because your hair is naturally light-colored so the gray will not be as visible.


mareserinitatis - November 28, 2012

I only have two gray hairs, and I pluck them whenever I have the chance! 🙂


2. Blaise Pascal - November 28, 2012


So-called “non-traditional students” have been a fixture on campuses for decades now. Generally, people on campus fall into 3 categories: students, faculty, and staff. While “non-traditional” students are a fraction of the total students, the student body outnumbers the faculty and staff by such a margin that the non-traditional ones might still outnumber the faculty on campus.

And that’s not even considering the grad student issue (who can be both “traditional” and older).


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