Seeing a teacher outside of school can feel stranger than seeing a celebrity outside of the silver screen.
Suddenly, you're reminded they're a full person who goes to the grocery store, drinks at bars, and has picnics at the park when they're not grading papers or corralling students into order.
Because they break the fourth wall of student-teacher context, an out-of-school run-in can be far more awkward than it should. But hey, at least you have the story.
The anecdotes abound.
Bumped into an old teacher at the urinal while being completely intoxicated at a bar. Opened up to him about how much his class meant to me. The class was gym.
I was out of class sick for the day back in fourth grade. My mom had to go to the store for something, but didn't want to leave me home alone, so I went with her, despite my 101(F) fever.
We're at checkout and I see my teacher, and he's seen me. Panicking, I told him that I'm sick and not playing hooky. He laughed and said he was playing hooky.
My sister was in a fender bender right after getting her license. The guy who rear-ended her was her driving teacher.
I saw my married middle school science teacher at a gay bar with a guy who certainly wasn't his wife.
Found out he lived in my neighborhood when his dog bit me and I had to get stitches.
I'm the teacher, not awkward but a wtf moment for me. Went to the pub last night and was served by an old student. Jesus I feel old.
I was babysitting for one of the high school teachers probably when I was in 10th or 11th grade.
Him and his wife get home and I call my dad to come pick me up I was just hanging out in the kitchen waiting for him chatting with the wife about the kids. Then all these cars start pulling up and people flood into the house with cases of beer.
It was all teachers from the high school that taught me or we're currently teaching me. They were all so drunk and would like sober up when they saw me and try to make awkward conversation for a few minutes.
Apparently the teacher I was babysitting for offered up his house for the after-party of whatever they did that night. I think it was more awkward for them than it was for me.
I especially remember my French teacher who was such a buttoned-up and serious middle aged lady literally stumbling into the house giggling, hair all a mess, plastered.
She started telling me how well I did on a presentation I had earlier that week and how happy I'd be when I got my grade back.
The thing that got me the most was when my dad finally got there and I'm walking to the car a few of them were in the garage smoking cigs and tried to hide them when I walked by.
Saw my English teacher shoplifting underwear from Primark.
It's never awkward for me. But one of my favorite times it was awkward for them was at a local music festival. This was one of those 3-day-weekend things where everyone is enjoying some sort of mind-altering experience or another.
I ran into a group of students who were just blazed (tripping on something) - I mean barely functional. I let them try to play it off for a while before I showed mercy and moved on. They tried so hard to seem sober.
I worked at a local Target store after high school. My band instructor came in and bought a pack of condoms and came through my checkout. He chatted me up for a bit and it was weird.
Since band went on trips for parades and festivals, his family came with us a lot. His wife was friendly, but his kids were mostly terrible. Glad he was using protection.
I delivered food to a brewery for an old history teacher. She's five years older and clearly drunk. She got all close up on me but gave me a ten-dollar tip so it was cool.
When I was in 4th grade, after my parents divorced, my Aunt came to live with us for awhile. One night I was watching tv and procrastinating doing my homework. There was a knock at the door and it was my teacher Mr L_____.
I was so shocked that I blurted out 'I'm just about to start my homework, I swear!' He laughed and said 'No, MachinePress, we're hear for your Aunt. Is she ready?'
That's when I noticed he was with his wife and some man who was to be my Aunt's date for the evening. The four of them were going to a concert or something. I felt pretty stupid about it.
Especially because he liked to bring it up later and laugh about the idea that he would come by student's houses and check on their homework progress.
The local festival, under a tent with half naked singer rubbing her tits on him while he looked uncomfortable, but smirking.
I saw my fourth-grade teacher who hated me, absolutely hammered at a restaurant. She was pretty embarrassed about it, but never brought it up to me.
I smoke a lot in the tree house at my parent's house. One summer after college I looked out the door as I was taking a fat bong rip and made eye-contact with my old high school English teacher walking her dog.
Gave her a casual head-nod and slowly closed the door