Mr. Meanie bo beanie (That’s ‘Professor Meanie’ to you)

“Tear up your books and eat poetry! Consume it; live it; write it!” John Keating (Robin Williams) as the pre-T teaching Transman.

One of the stranger side effects of testosterone (besides the extremely curly forearm hair) is the distinct lack of happy fuzzy compassion Transman used to have when teaching. Prior to T, he was that teacher who worried over students who didn’t turn in work or who had all manner of trouble getting their shit together. He was John Keating from Dead Poets Society. Transman was going to show each student who walked through the door of his classroom that someone cared; he was going to inspire them to find their voices and sing-sing-sing! to the world.

Not no more.


Transman has turned into a curmudgeon. Transman is now somewhere between Severus Snape and Charles Kingsfield. He figures he gave the students the syllabus at the beginning of the semester and reminds them at the end of each class what is due for the next one. If they need help beyond that, then they shouldn’t be in college. He is not here to hear excuses or to babysit; he is here to teach and engage them in conversation about the craft of writing. He is now a pompous ass who says things like, “Writing is work and if you’re not willing to work hard, then you’re not ready to be a writer.”

“Loud! Fill the classroom with your intelligence!” The Paper Chase’s Charles Kingsfield (John Houseman) as the post-T teaching Transman.

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29 responses to “Mr. Meanie bo beanie (That’s ‘Professor Meanie’ to you)

  • tryingtowriteit

    Sounds like you are haviung a v. bad day……

  • Alison

    So which student will you never tire of kicking in the teeth? I hope your day gets better and that student(s) figure out that this is the real world soon.

    I love your imagery. It always make me smile, the way you use words, to paint a picture that I can just see in my mindseye.

  • keepcalmlaxmom

    I TOTALLY get this!!! I had the opposite shift after my son was born! I actually wrote at poem (a bad one at that) called the hijacking of flight 1108 (a reference to son’s birthday). Pre-pregnancy, I was an ass-kicking scalpel-wielding fiend in scrubs (and ruby red lipstick) not afraid to grab hold of any wound or crushed limb. I chose the surgical route vs. the touchy/feeling aspect of medicine. The fleas vs. the blades. Why crawl all over the patient and give them a bunch of medicine when a chance to cut is a chance to heal, and nothing heals like cold, hard, steel. After birth I actually found myself caring about things and having physiological reactions to emotional situations. My psyche had been hijacked by being a mother.

  • meizac

    Interesting. Is it the effect of testosterone, or is it the “I’ve really had enough” factor?

    I used to be much more concerned about my students. Since having kids and finding that my 4- and 7-year-old seem to be more self-sufficient than most college kids, I’m the exact opposite of compassionate….

    • transparentguy

      There’s an impartiality that didn’t exist before. Part of it is that ability to focus that I wrote about before and part of it is a tempering of my emotional response to the world.

      • meizac

        I’ve had some really jerks for professors (one initially denied my request to rewrite a test, because M didn’t die…I had rushed her to hospital with a fever of 105.8F), but mostly, when I’m wearing my student hat, I can’t be bothered with the profs who dote on students who just aren’t even trying to keep things on track for themselves.

        It sounds like you’ll end up being the ‘happy medium’ kind of prof at the end of this.

        (Also, look how long that first sentence of this reply is. *tsk, tsk*)

  • bluebutterfliesandme

    Come on t man…..Be the fun Professor. I am an adult an back in school. Teachers are important and make a difference if they want to.

  • trisha1den

    That is really an amazing piece of self discovey isnt it? Id like to offer up this and get thoughts from your own life. having known I was trans since I was little I found I had to adopt a lot of of those traits you mentioned that are so typical of testosterone. Im not on a t-blocker but am on estrogen. Ive found that estrogen certainly does magnify my girliness – are you feeling how the testosterone has magnified what was already there inside you? Excited to hear your thoughts.

    • transparentguy

      In some ways, I do think it magnifies what was already there. This objectiveness/get-down-to-business side is new–or, it used to get overshadowed by emotional response so I didn’t notice it. Part of this also seems to be a change in confidence. In the past, I worried much more about making other people happy. Now, not so much.

  • Storm M. Silvermane

    I think I have been doing this to people I deal with during the process of running the Alliance.. I am turning that leaf Angel has always wanted to see me pick up. That side of. I told you what needed to be done, you said you could do it. You figure out how to do it. I have enough on my plate. If you cannot do it, then don’t tell me you can. Not to say I would not give help if they asked me in the whole recognition that they bit off more than they can chew, but help, suggestions. Not doing it for you. So I see what you mean. It is like you are suddenly able to see that people need to be responsible for themselves.

    • transparentguy

      “It is like you are suddenly able to see that people need to be responsible for themselves.” Yes. While I always felt that, I now feel less need to enable irresponsibility. I don’t mind helping out, but I won’t do everything for people anymore and if you didn’t plan things out and waited until the last minute to ask for help, then I’m under no obligation to drop everything I’m doing to help you.

  • americantransman

    “Part of this also seems to be a change in confidence. In the past, I worried much more about making other people happy.”


    How does that feel, the worrying less about making other people happy?

  • Fathead Follies

    I liked my curmudgeon teachers–not the ones who didn’t care at all, but the ones that cared but didn’t put up with slackers. I remember one of my favorites throwing his keys into the air after a particularly self indulgent piece and declaring, “who cares? If you were going to kill yourself, I’d let you. Give me a reason to root for you.” He was spot on. Tough love, baby, sometimes it’s the way to go.

  • purplemary54

    I’m stoked that you brought up Prof. Kingsfield. I loved The Paper Chase back in the day.

  • Stacie Chadwick

    Awwww, so sorry to hear about your blah blah blekity blah funk. In liking this post, I like that you’re talking about it, not that you’re feeling badly. Will the testosterone regulate?

    • transparentguy

      Actually, I don’t feel bad at all. It’s just a switch from my former lack of confidence that made me feel pressured to make everyone happy (even when they were the ones messing up). Now, I don’t feel like it’s up to me to make other people happy. I can concentrate on really teaching instead of being caught up in feeling like I need to hold my under-performing students’ hands all the time.

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