Since When Is Being Called a Twenty-Something an Insult?

As English department chair, I have a few mundane duties. Number one on the list of tedious is attending monthly district meetings. This past week, I had the pleasure of attending one such event. After sitting through pleas to join the superintendent’s strategic planning committee and comments that to teach problem solving skills, we need to assign more reading of expository pieces from the textbook, I was done.

Of course, that’s when I was stopped in the parking lot by one of the other chairs. She wanted to ask me about rubrics, so after that conversation, she asked how long  I had been teaching. When I told her eight years, she was shocked and said, “Wow! I thought you were in your early twenties!”

Now, how many thirty-year-olds wouldn’t love to hear those sweet words? Oddly enough, this one. With all the trouble I had turning thirty, I thought a statement like that would be akin to hearing the voice of Jesus himself. It wasn’t, though. I proudly told her, “No, I just turned thirty in October,” to which she responded with an even greater amount of surprise.

I suppose this means I’ve arrived. I’m a thirty-year-old, and I’m learning to embrace it.


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