Jocco was often over playing with my brother, and when we moved to Minnesota, his family moved at the same time. Our parents were good friends, and our fathers were both professors at the same college. He lived on the other side of the football field from us when we lived in a campus house. Hence, we saw a lot of each other.
Jocco returned to the hometown area this year, to attend the college where our father had taught together for 6 years. When I was home this weekend, and attending a volleyball tournament for colleges [mine and his included], I spotted him, and had the chance to chat with him briefly.
I already knew that he was in the pastor track there. This means that, inevitably, he would have my father for a professor. The question merely is, how soon and how many classes total? Jocco informed me that he will have my father next semester -- for Latin -- and he's scared out of his mind.
My father has the reputation of being the toughest professor on campus. He also has the reputation of being the smartest professor on campus. He's also certainly very helpful to his students, and they all have utmost respect for him. They learn a lot from him, and he expects them to do so. ... He reminds me a bit of Chips.
Nevertheless, almost any time I meet a pastor-track student there, and they find out I'm HIS daughter, I hear about all the things they've heard about how tough his classes are, but how good, and how they just hope to PASS them! [And some have even heard things from fathers, uncles, and other professors about how my father may be tough and very intelligent, but my grandfather was impossible! Yes, my family has quite the academic reputation..]
Considering it was Jocco, I decided to clue him into a secret. Some students have picked up on it before, other years, but not all of them know about it at first. So, explanation:
My father is very specific about his ties. Whenever he gets a tie for a gift, it's not allowed to be too expensive [he thinks all ties should cost $2-3]. Also, it can't be too wild, or too geometric. There are only so many colours he'll wear, and only so many colours that can be on one tie. Typical absent-minded professor type. His favourite colour is grey. He wears a suit every day -- very classy.
Now the secret is that, whenever AT LEAST one of his classes has a quiz, he wears a red tie. He does this faithfully. Sometimes, it's almost all of his classes that have quizzes. He's very faithful about it. Now, as I mentioned, some of the students have picked up on it. They try to find out his tie colour early in the day, so that they can study frantically if need be.
Occasionally, though, when he's feeling mischievous, he will wear a regular, non-red tie during most of the day, and then change to a red one in his office before the beginning of whichever of his later classes has a quiz.
A good man, my father.