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Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2004 - 8:59 p.m.

I took this test on identifying fake smiles (via Metafilter) last week and scored 10/20: a statistically perfect bad score. I might as well have been flipping a coin. I didn’t think I’d be very good at telling which smiles were fake, but I didn’t expect to be totally incompetent. However, a related event demonstrates that either I am good at faking it myself, or that my mother is wrong.

My mom said a month ago that I didn’t seem to like teaching very much lately. Sometimes I believe her. But today I got back my student evaluations from last semester – those anonymous questionnaires every student fills out at the end of the semester – and they were astoundingly positive. They were better than those of last year, when I was pretty sure I liked teaching. Most shocking of all was that nearly every one, almost fifty students in all, said I clearly loved and was passionate about teaching. Are they right? Do they know something I don’t know? Or am I just a really convincing faker?

Here are my two favorite comments from the “general evaluation” section:

“She is a wonderful teacher, and I would die to take her for English 102. I enjoyed every day of this class. On a scale of 1-10, I give her an 11.”

“She was a good teacher, however I’ll be praying for her because she isn’t a Christian.”

To borrow a line: pray for me, dorks.

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