Listen up, kids. school is back in session! Like most students in September, you're full of lusty resolve to study hard and ace your courses. You're probably even standing in line at the bookstore as you read this, ready to drop heavy coin for textbooks that are fated to gather dust bunnies under your grubby little futon. Just remember that sometimes the best way to get a decent grade is to play the teacher's pet.
Just when you thought you'd never have to experience another sex ed lesson, I'm here to give you an important 101 on being hot for a teacher. This will help you manage the searing crushes you'll inevitably develop this year on at least one irresistible beacon of higher education.
Let's start with a history lesson. If you know what's good for you you'll do your homework and crank your stereo with Van Halen's Hot For Teacher. Memorize the words "I think of all the education that I missed, but then my homework was never quite like this, got it bad, got it bad, I'm hot for teacher."
Sure, maybe even the suggestion of being hot for teacher makes you shudder. Stop thinking about the chalk-marked bums, comb-overs and ill-fitting corduroy jackets with suede elbow patches. Popular culture is riddled with references and stories about tempting teachers.
Just think of Indiana Jones and how every time he returned to the classroom from one of his hair-raising archaeological missions he'd be swarmed by adoring female students. Remember Dr. Jones's student who sat at the front of the classroom and lowered her eyelids every time he looked her way, revealing the eyeliner-scrawled words "I love you"? What about Tom Cruise in Top Gun and how he slouched in his desk chair and impressively twiddled his pencil for his buxom flight instructor?
And what of Sting, a former English teacher, who sang Don't Stand So Close To Me? Admit it. If Sting were your teacher, forget standing so close to him - you'd be wrapped around his leg like a koala.
The University of Florida has a student-run Web page called Hot For Teacher that's dedicated to the most babelicious male faculty members. (The female profs declined.) Each good doctor has a photo posted along with a description that includes things like his astrological sign, favourite slow-dance song, ideal date and anecdotes about things students have done to proposition them. At the bottom of each description there's a kicker that says, "He may be hot, but is his course good for your GPA?" and a link to the course syllabus.
Post-secondary education offers fertile ground not only for higher learning but also for many a student-professor fling. Of course, this can become a very embarrassing educational train wreck. There are a few warnings you should heed. Roberston Davies writes about a tricky grad student-professor courtship in The Rebel Angels, in which a sizzling sexual and intellectual chemistry between professor and student erupts into a problematic full-blown affair. So before you choose to become your prof's human desktop blotter, I'd recommend Davies's book as required reading.
That said, professorial idolatry can be an amazing motivator for excellent grades. My own university career was punctuated by several of these experiences. Most memorable was my heart-wrenching crush on a certain swanky young professor whose courses I and every other student in my art history program couldn't get enough of.
He was a young New Yorker and came to class looking stylishly dishevelled. All the women in the room would swoon as he clipped his mike onto his collar, cleared his throat and launched into a passionate two-hour lecture about whatever we'd be studying that day. To illustrate how an artist's style had revolutionized traditional Renaissance painting, he'd slowly circle the Madonna's breasts with his laser pointer. One particularly memorable lecture, he sprang 16th-century painter/writer Giulio Romano's I Modi: The Sixteen Pleasures on us, essentially the Renaissance precursor to modern-day lovemaking manuals.
I could feel a shiver run through the lecture hall. That sealed the deal for me. I signed up for the professor's fourth-year seminar.
Although there was some covert flirtation, my crush never amounted to anything while in school. It did, however, inspire a plum grade in his course. Rather than flaunting my physical attributes, I flaunted my grey matter. I was a keener, raising my hand in seminar as often as possible and choosing the most obscure and challenging essay topics.
Did it impress the PhD? Absolutely. A few weeks after graduation, he was asking me out for tea and bringing me back suggestive Hieronymus Bosch coasters from Spanish museums.
If you find yourself bitten with the chalk-bum bug, keep your wits about you. Remember, it's love that inspires us to do anything well.