Teach me tonight

Yesterday was a “phone it in” kind of day. I feel like everything I did was kind of half-hearted, including my blog entry. So, today I have been racking my brain for something interesting/funny/compelling to blog about. I still feel kind of like a dud, though. There are things going on that aren’t fit for public consumption, which means that most of my ponderings lately aren’t blog-friendly.

When I was getting my hair cut this morning, I asked my hairdresser about her son who will be starting high school in the fall. Another customer came in, and her daughter is apparently a freshman in high school, and we were all discussing teachers. Some of the ones I liked were totally trashed by these two women. “He is a butt! And he’s so negative! And mean!” I really liked that guy. hehe. And some of the ones that they mentioned positively, I didn’t really care for.

It concerned me a bit to hear these women talking so poorly about the teachers. I do remember one of my brother’s teachers that my dad Did. Not. Like. But generally, though our parents made it clear that they supported us and would take our side against injustice, they also made it clear that we had to respect the authority of our teachers, and that they weren’t going to help us be disrespectful in any way. They stood up for us if we were being treated unfairly, and they helped us take problems we had to the teacher, and I am pretty sure my dad had it out with a couple of Joseph’s teachers, but they didn’t encourage us to be disrespectful.

I noticed something similar last night, when Mike showed me RateMyProfessors.com. Some of my favorite professors (like the aforementioned Dr. Allen) weren’t rated very highly, because their classes were hard. I didn’t care if the class was hard, as long as the professor was willing to give me a little help/advice if I had some questions. I don’t have a lot of patience for busy work, but I guess I am able to separate the difficulty of the class from my like or dislike of the professor or teacher. Most of the classes I disliked weren’t about the work but because I thought the professor was an arrogant jerk.

And that’s kind of how I operate in my life, too. What’s really important to me is when people are nice to me, when they answer my questions without making me feel stupid, when they give me their full attention, when they ask things that let me know they see me as a person, when they have compassion. The teachers I remember more fondly from all stages of my life are the ones who did those things, even if they didn’t know a whole lot about me personally.

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