At the university where I received my MA, the composition instructors have a communal office lovingly called “the Cave.” It is a dark and dank place where adjuncts and grad instructors use computers and print materials for their classes. One professor in particular and some students normally congregated in this area before classes and talk about whatever happens to be going on academically or personally.
One afternoon, I was working at one of the desks and a professor (one of my mentors) was talking to another instructor. Then, he paused for a minute and said: “Well, it’s time to go make pretty with the words and shit,” meaning it was time for him to get to work. I looked up from some papers I was grading and just stared at him. Suddenly, I burst out laughing and almost fell out of my chair. He started laughing and soon everyone in the Cave was laughing.
This professor is awesome exactly for this reason–he never sugar coats and he always tells you exactly how it is. I admire this quality in him both as a teacher and mentor. He is an astounding scholar and rhetorician.
I still laugh when I think about it. We have laughed a lot during my time in the MA program and I will miss him when I move to Minnesota. I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor.