Current/Recent Reading List

27 January 2008

Me Need Male-Bonding

Most of my adult life I have been in educational or vocational situations in which I have been a minority male surrounded by women. There is obviously a lot to be said for this - it helped me nab a hot wife, after all. But I haven't been "on the make" now for almost 15 years, and even in my single days, frankly, I was never one to have been "on the make" too much anyway. Even speaking platonically, there are good things to be said about working more with women than with men, but forgive me, gentle reader, if I occasionally feel a longing for more good, old-fashioned red-blooded male bonding.

Saturday I attended a writing workshop at N.C. State, at the behest of my department chair. It was actually a good workshop and made me re-think a few things I do when teaching writing; in fact, I think I will attend their more extensive "institute" over the summer to earn many continuing education credits. But this workshop consisted of me, and 20 women. Seriously. Plus, it was a workshop. At one point they had M&M's out for one exercise, and at another point they had Play-Doh out. Seriously. I minimally participated in the M&M thing, and just flat out ignored the Play-Doh.

Thus, the plight of the male English teacher.

At school, things are much the same way. Because we have so many faculty members, we all tend to hang out mostly within our own departments. The numbers in my department are something like 16 women and five men, with two of the men being already retired half-timers, and one being only a year or two away from it. This leaves one other man who is just slightly older than I am. He is a very nice, cheerful fellow, and we get along very well and have some fun conversations, but our personalities, interests, and life experiences are simply too divergent for us to be bonding pals (for one thing, I need to be able to talk in-depth about sports from time to time).

So, while I'm extremely pleased with my employment situation at the moment, the one thing I lack is at least one good male-bonding buddy. At a big school, the coaches sort of have their own club, and you never see them or talk much with them. Other male teachers at the school are either simply too far away from my room, or are not in my age group. At my old school I had a couple of perfect bonding buddies, but so far I'm missing out at the new place. Creepily, I feel a certain incompleteness.

Hey, quit laughing.

4 comments:

Michael said...

Me too. It's one reason I became a Freemason. I recommend it.

School Master P said...

Michael - well, I can see how you would be in the same boat as well, probably even more so. It's not that I don't have buddies outside of work, but besides family I don't see anyone as much as the folks I work with, so at least one close friend at school would be nice.

Sound whiny enough by this point?

Hey - the Freemasons do have George Washington on their side, right? That would be a big plus in my book.

Michael said...

We also have Benjamin Franklin, Andrew Jackson, both Roosevelts, Winston Churchill, Harry Truman, and Gerald Ford (that's off the top of my head; I could find more). Red Skelton, too, if you want to get really cool. Oh, and John Wayne.

Belle said...

You should go with my hublet to see violent movies. He saw There Will Be Blood and No Country without me, who would have seen only the back of the theatre, eyes averted from the screen.