• Confessions of a Community College Dean

    In which a veteran of cultural studies seminars in the 1990s moves into academic administration and finds himself a married suburban father of two. Foucault, plus lawn care.


Full “Dad” Mode

A transcript.


September 18, 2017

Middle age brings with it certain superpowers. Invisibility is the most obvious, but I also have the power to embarrass my teenage children beyond measure, often without even trying.

I’m not above enjoying that. What follows is a barely-edited transcript of last night’s dinner conversation. For context, The Girl is 13.

The Wife: You can attend the (school event), right?

Me: Yup.

TW: Will you sit with The Girl, or will you be separate?

Me: I’ll try to sit with her, but if I can’t, I’ll still find a way to embarrass her.


Me: It’s easy! I’ll just stand up in back and yell “I’m TG’s Dad! Woooooo!!!!”

TG: nooo...

Me: Or I could start dancing. You’ve seen me do the “cabbage patch” (demonstrates)

TW: Oh, do the overbite!

Me: Absolutely. (adds the overbite)

TG: daaaaaaaaaaad…

Me: Or I could do the lawn sprinkler (demonstrates)

TG: There won’t be any music playing!

Me: I can wear headphones. Or say I’m dancing to the sounds in my head.

TG: (sighs)

Me: They’ll be all “Mr. Reed, please sit down. I’ll say, “That’s Dr. Reed to you!” and then start vogueing.

TG: (shoots death stare)

Me: No?

TG: No.


Me: (exaggeratedly droopy) oooookayyyyyy…

She wins this round. But next time...


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