Congratulations on going back to school at 36!
I did the same thing and I recommend it. I studied hard, did some activist work, and made lots of new friends. I also had a wonderful professor that some of the other students and I called "Dr. Gorgeous" (behind his back, of course) because he was so attractive and nice.
Your Teacher Reminds Me of Dr. Gorgeous
Dr. G., as we'll call him, was very helpful. He and I went to lunch now and then. He met with me in his office to discuss my classwork and papers. I told him a lot about my personal life. He told me about his. In other words, in addition to being quite attractive, he was a caring, thoughtful, and excellent education professional. Yet, there were no romantic inclinations on either of our parts.
Is this professor your Dr. Gorgeous? Maybe or maybe not. I don't think he's done anything to indicate romance so far, so the ball's in your court.
First, the Trouble Checklist...
Find out two things first: -
- Is he married? (Someone will know.) -
- Is he in your department of study? I.e. Will you be seeing a lot of him over your college years?
If yes to either of the above: run, do not walk, away from romance with this man - in either case, the result would be nothing but pain and heartache.
But if he's available and not in your department, why not see if he can go out to lunch one day? Get to know him a little and build from there. (Wait until class is over for the semester, by the way.)
Race, Class & Gender Affect Every Interaction
As for the fact that you are from different races, I want to say it doesn't matter, but I think it does. I think that your race, class, and gender affect every interaction you have with another human being. I don't know how it comes into play in your interactions with this professor, so I can't say. However, you are right to be very aware that the issue is there.
A final thought: if your Dr. G. is unavailable, just do what we did - occasionally allow yourself to stare dreamily at him during class.
But, don't forget to take notes.