Paul: Shaw - thanks for sitting down with me for an interview today. Recently you finished your graduate degree. How does it feel to be a master of the universe?
Shaw: I was hoping the title "Master of the Universe" came with more powers, but it's actually kind of bittersweet. On the one hand, I'm looking at a fall that is full of free evenings and reading of my choice. On the other hand, in order to actually finish the degree, I've got a hell of a lot of work to do this summer for my Master's Writing Project.
And, I'm already planning on being Professor McGonagall for Halloween.
My robes from commencement would be perfect!
Paul: Is the "Power of Gray Skull" a myth? Something you share with He-Man? Or do you have to take turns?
Shaw: The "Power of Gray Skull" is a myth. Apparently, I now possess the power of "Having More Responsibility" and "Being on More Committees." It's kind of a let down.
Oddly enough, children don't really respect a Master's degree any more than they do a Bachelor's degree. They do respect those who have MySpace profiles and let them listen to their ipods occasionally.
Paul: Have you tried using the phrase "respect my athoriti" in your best Cartman imitation? Or maybe say, "if you boys finish your work, I'll call my friend Mary Kay Letourneau for you?"
Shaw: I try to refrain from South Park or statuatory rape references in my class. It's hard to keep kids on task when those topics pop up.
Earlier in the year, we were talking about themes. I asked kids to share stories from books, movies, tv shows, etc., and the theme of that story. One of the funniest yet inappropriate conversations my 7th hour had was about the possible theme to "40-Year Old Virgin." The student who volunteered the movie decided that the theme was that it was not okay to make fun of someone if they are 40 and have not had intercourse.
Paul: Some of your students did find your MySpace account this year. Were they surprised when they found your standards for secondary education in the house included Kitty attending law school with Ben?
Shaw: My students didn't really say anything specific about my MySpace profile. Some said it was boring, and others claimed that I had called them 'bratty' on it, which is not true. When one of my students, who is actually bratty, made this accusation loudly and repeatedly, another student stepped in and said, "And why would she think that?" In that moment, he redeemed an entire year of headaches he had caused.
We had professional development all day, which kept me in meetings for a long time. It also meant that the construction crew was able to paint the lockers, so now we're all a little high.
I'm off now. There's always a bit of a rush around 3pm on a Friday, but since the kids aren't here today, it's not as exciting to be out of here.
Paul: Thank you for the interview!