When I started this job, I was cautioned that some students may get a crushes on me. I suppose I didn’t disagree with this statement intellectually, but being the recipient of an infatuation wasn’t something I had to contend with last time I was in school, so the warning kind of went in one ear and out the other.
Truth be told, I can’t quite tell the difference between a crush and a flirt. One of my students, a very pretty 23 year old named Gaby, kind of gave off an impression of the former. She makes really good eye contact during my lectures, which wouldn’t be especially meaningful, if I wasn’t always at the front of the room. When I lecture, I walk around the desks, so I’m looking at the same projector screen as they are, and she’ll sometimes turn around to make brief eye contact before return her attention back to the PowerPoint. She’ll sometimes mouth “thank you” after I explain a particular point detail. Earlier in the semester, she was visiting me during my office hours for help on the homework on a somewhat regular basis. She seemed to have a good command on the material, and all of her questions could have been quickly answered via email, so she really didn’t have a need to visit. Of course, both her office visits and class attendance have since dropped off, so perhaps we resolved whatever issue was befuddling her. Alternatively, maybe she likes to try to enchant her male professors to garner leniency. I really hope she’s just an unaware flirt.
Evelin is a bit more obvious. She’s in her late twenties and a single mother. She actually already has a job in the accounting industry and is balancing her receivables clerk position with returning to school. She was in my tax class last spring semester. As soon as I walked in to the room and began setting up the computer, I noticed that she was immediately focused on me. She never missed class and immediately emailed me as soon as she had a problem with the homework. She always begin her emails with a pleasantry, usually asking me how I am doing. When I once responded, “better than I deserve,” she came off as upset at me in her reply. “You shouldn’t say such a thing,” she had written. “You’re an amazing man who only deserves to be happy.” I politely thanked her for thinking so highly of me and directed the subject back to class work. She specifically asked me what courses I was teaching in the fall as she wanted to have me again. She’s in my Personal Finance class, an online course, at the moment. The class is taught entirely online as one might expect. It’s an easy class. All students really have to do is read articles and write a list or a few paragraphs in response every week. She said she wished the class had a campus lecture.
Yeah, I don’t know if I can handle this. It’s rush being considered attractive, but that also makes it kind of scary. Personal relationships, of any sort, between teacher and student are strictly prohibited by the school. I don’t consider myself a lecherous person, but after my previous experience with Erika, I don’t quite trust myself. When Erika and I started our relationship, she said she didn’t want to do anything physical besides hugging and cuddling, but when our passions heated up, and she invited me to do more, I couldn’t resist. We didn’t have sex (of any sort), but we definitely went farther than we initially said we would. It makes me very cautious of myself, and I really don’t like the idea of any sort of opportunity ever presenting itself. The only other type of job for which I would leave this one would be some sort of telecommute role. Perhaps, I need to start looking for such a position in the near future.