February 21, 2010

When Classroom Crushes Attack

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Dilemma: someone recognized me from my column this past weekend. And it wasn’t just any loyal reader that recognized me. Oh no. It was one of my classroom crushes.

Now do not feign innocence, gentle reader, when I talk about classroom crushes. After an extensive bout of strenuous polling (of my four housemates), I have determined that I am not alone in my brief infatuations with complete strangers. And by the transitive property, this means that you know damn well what I’m referring to when I say classroom crushes.

In every single one of my classes, there’s always someone I notice the first day. Maybe he’s not my type instantaneously, but, chances are, he’s the cutest guy in the room.

Now, it’s not like I sit there trying to remember what percentage of Cornell students marry someone they met on the Hill while I calculate my odds of landing this boy in my bedroom tonight. That kind of planning isn’t what these classroom crushes are all about.

No, it’s more like, “I’ve got to sit here for 75 minutes three times a week and try not to kill myself — oh! He’s cute! Problem solved.”

Commence a strict regiment of nervous giggling, hair twirling and a healthy dose of eye sex. There’s just something so scandalous about sticky eyes while your professor is lecturing on the newest satellite to pass Saturn. You’ve really got to try it sometime.

Why is it so thrilling? I have no idea.

Surely, I would never bust out a hair-flipping, bend-and-snap in just any situation. But when you are separated by rows of uncomfortably small “desk-chair” hybrids, well, the rules change. Not to mention, if you’re well positioned, at least 10 small Asian girls whose heads you can clearly see over stand between you and your object of affection.

I develop this wall of protection in my classes, which serves one purpose and one purpose only: help me avoid the possibility of ever making contact with the classroom crush.

For one, I almost never sit next to my classroom crush. That is, unless I’m feeling particularly bold, have a fabulous set of falsies (eyelashes, you pervy male readers) or have generally coiffed myself to an acceptable level.

Cristina Stiller is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences. She may be reached at cstiller@cornellsun.com. Believe You Me appears alternate Mondays this semester.

Second, I do try to pay attention in class. My chances at grad school are not going to be inhibited by man candy. Unless, of course, the man candy is extremely potent, in which case, I am willing to make some sacrifices in the name of beauty.

Third, and most importantly, I’m not a creepy stalker. My classroom crushes begin and end in the classroom. If said hottie is not in my section, I don’t sweat it. I’m not going to reorganize my life around figuring out what he sounds like when he speaks. (For the record, this is certainly the best policy all around. One of my classroom crushes was in my section once, and when he opened his mouth, he sounded exactly like what I imagine Pee Wee Herman’s O-voice to be.)

Do you catch my drift? Classroom crushes don’t actually exist… at least not outside of your lecture hall.

So imagine my surprise when, as I was busting a move to Ke$ha — let’s face it, with enough libations, hearing that song is like hearing “Don’t Stop Believin’” for the first time — someone came up behind and said, “Hey! I know you! You write for the Sun, don’t you?”

Cue turn around.

Cue freak out.

It was a classroom crush. He was from first semester, freshman year, Intro to International Relations, to be exact.

This was the boy that, with his nonchalant hotness and mysterious origins (I still, for the life of me, can not place what ethnicity he is) prompted me to bring my roommate to class to evaluate just how cute he really was.

This was also the boy who most likely cost me my grade in that class.

I stumbled, muttered some incoherent form of “yes,” and casually (read: superawkwardly) danced my way out of the situation. I had no intention of ever meeting this person, much less running into him at a party. It was just too weird/awkward/nasty/vile/strange/otherworldly for words!

So I will explain my distress via analogy: seeing a classroom crush in a public setting is like running into your professor at Wegman’s. They’re not real people. So seeing them do real-people things is just… unnatural.

In retrospect, I probably could have handled it better. I mean, for all I know, this boy may have been my one and only adoring fan. That is, besides my grandmother, of course (love you Abu!).

But, alas, this Cornell love affair was not meant to be. There is a fine line between classroom crush and regular crush. And believe you me, cross that bad boy and there is hell to pay.

Original Author: Cristina Stiller