Last week, Robin and I made a movie. It’s about 25 seconds long, and I have exactly one line, but we wanted to try something interactive and fun for an entry document for a project on the Progressive Era, but the thing about making a movie that you are starring in is that you then have to watch yourself, and that? Is awkward.
A few weeks back, one of my students kept telling me that I reminded her of an actress from a movie that I hadn’t seen. I did, however, recognize the title and knew it was a horror film.
“What are you trying to say,” I asked teasing her, “when you tell me I look like someone in a horror movie?”
She got flustered and tried to explain herself, but I sort of waved her off and assured her I was kidding. But as I watched myself in the video clips while I was editing, all I could think was that I looked vaguely…muppet-y.
Because there’s no denying the video evidence. That is what I look like, and I realize that while I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about what I look like, I am forced to admit that I clearly had a few misconceptions. Why is my face so big and broad?
Then, my student sent me a picture of the actress she was envisioning, and it was Vera Farmiga, who is gorgeous. Did you see her in Up in the Air? Holy smokes! After watching myself in our video document, I kept thinking about how distorted my face seemed until I practically saw myself as the kid from Mask, and this student of mine thought I looked like the babe from The Departed. That went a considerable way to restoring the balance to my ego, I must say.
The student in question also made me feel great when she came in one afternoon to ask for help. I gave her some tips for an essay that she was working on, and mentioned for whatever damn fool reason that I’d thought more than once about going to law school and had even thought about it a few days before. She told me not to do it this year because she liked me and my coteacher and thought we were amazing teachers and she really enjoyed our class. And then my huge muppet-y brown eyes misted up just a little bit.
As one of my fellow teachers once said: “That’s how they suck you back in because that’s the reason that we do all the other stuff.” So true, but it is a really great feeling.