Professor Diddy: the origins of a nickname

I’m not quite sure how this happened. Some of the students in one of my comp classes at San Jose State University call me Professor Diddy. HOw on earth did I get such a nickname? I must admit, it’s my fault entirely. Here (I think) is what happened: A couple of my students were trying to figure out what to call me in class. They threw out a whole bunch of possibilities. “Dan.” “Mr. Dan.””Professor Dan,” “Mr. White.” “Professor White.” I could have chosen any one of those options and it would have been just fine. The problem is, I overthought the situation. “Mister White” sounded a little too much like a hated PE teacher, while “Dan” sounded too informal. I didn’t like “Professor Dan” because it sounded a bit too much like “Ranger Rick.” I’m a lecturer, technically speaking, but “Lecturer White” sounds weird to me, like a character for a Phillip K. Dick novel. I said that they could probably call me “Adjunct Professor White” but that is very wordy and awkward-sounding. Finally, I said that I didn’t really care what they called me, as long as they don’t call me something ridiculous, such as “Diddy.” Voila. A nickname was born!

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