My students are convinced that I have killed people.
Last year's group was the first to clue me in. I was shocked. I am, after all, one of the most patient people I know. I don't have many management problems, I hardly ever raise my voice to them, and I rarely have to write referrals.
I was slightly hurt. I said, "But I'm so PATIENT and CALM."
They said, "Exactly."
They went on to explain that I seemed like one of those people who is calm and patient for years on end...and then snaps one day and hacks someone to bits.
This year's group echoed the same sentiment, only they added that the scar on my arm made them think I had been shanked during a murder spree. I appreciated their attention to detail and their rich imaginations.
I was more offended when I found out they think I'm a Republican. I do my best to avoid talking politics with them, save for the occasional current event topics. Still, I think it's pretty clear from my politically correct, live-and-let-live attitude that I'm no social conservative. Yet, I was accused of voting for McCain in '08, supporting Joe Arpaio, and attending pro-SB1070 rallies.
"Why do you accuse me so?" I asked.
"You're white," they said.
So it wasn't too surprising when, just this past week, I was accused of being a member of Al-Quaeda.
It was the day after news broke that the US special forces had killed Osama Bin Laden. A student (who most recently accused my beloved Coyotes of being human traffickers) approached my desk after I dismissed the class to lunch. He had a rather smug look on his face, and he was wearing celebratory Army fatigues. He said, "So they finally caught your leader."
"Yes, your leader. Osama Bin Laden."
"Oh. He wasn't MY leader."
"Yes he was. You are a member of Al Quaeda. You've been posing as a teacher while planning terror attacks against U.S. Citizens."His left hand sort of hovered in the air, as though he were performing the Jedi Mind Trick.
"Hmmm...is this about last night's homework?"
"Yes. Homework is a form of torture."
So there it is. Murderer, Republican, Terrorist, Master Mutilator of Human Rights.
I wonder what they would think if I were actually strict.