Saturday, September 20, 2014

Louisiana: Are You a Teacher?

Oh, how many times have I been asked that since I've lived in South Louisiana!

Strangers ask me this question, and it happened again just last night.

I respect teachers. And because South Louisiana must have more teachers per square inch than perhaps anywhere else in the world, I've had the pleasure of meeting many lovely representatives of the teaching profession here.

I have discussed this "are you a teacher?" question at some length with a local buddy, also a transplant from Not Around Here. He is of the opinion that he can identify a teacher from afar. His claim has some credibility because he used to be a teacher and had ample time to study many females of the species in their natural habitat. Last night I asked him to define exactly how one profiles a (woman) teacher, and here's what he said --> A woman is possibly a teacher if she wears a:
  • Jean skirt;
  • Flow-y skirt; 
  • Skirt that falls below the knees; 
  • Sandals with wide straps; 
  • Gabardine shirt;
  • Blouse that is worn over a skirt (i.e. not tucked in); 
  • Blouse or dress with a bold print; or
  • Shirt that covers her ass.  

He suggested I could probably go online and find websites devoted to what teachers wear. I said I would definitely do this, because based on my experience in South Louisiana, maybe my very own photo is on those websites as a Sample Teacher.

Here are the results of my search on what teachers wear. You be the judge of my buddy's analysis:

Teachers Have Lives, Too

Chioma's Evolution of Style

Pencil Lead and Lace

Again, I love teachers. But it's got to be said that teachers don't have the same panache as, say, librarians.With librarians you never know what they're going to do, like pull off their glasses, let down their hair from that tight bun, and you know, become very un-librarianlike while maintaining their presumed intellect. Librarians are unpredictable, thus a little dangerous. But not teachers. Nope, teachers go to prison for doing what librarians do.

This morning I shared my experience with several women, all of whom are native South Louisianans. I wondered if such queries might even be a local culture thing - maybe other people are approached with conjectures about their profession. Maybe it's just a conversation starter.

The jury's still out on all that, but we considered a couple of new responses to the question:

"Yes! I teach pole dancing! How could you tell?"

Flash a fake badge and say, "No, I'm with the FBI on an undercover operation, and things are about to pop. Move away or you might get hurt."

One of the woman said, "Well, what profession do you want people to think you have?"

Good question. I don't want them to have an assumption about my profession. If anyone is going to say anything, I'd like them to say to me what a stranger said to me in Bernalillo, New Mexico: "You are really having fun, aren't you?" and the answer would be yes.

Note: The fact that I am a teacher is beside the point. 

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