Thursday, February 18, 2010

Another Way to Look at It

DavidM had a post a couple days back about seeing things another way. Today was psych class. I'm beginning to dread that class. Truly. I go there prepared, to the very best of my ability, and I am doing okay. Today, she gave us a pop quiz. I was one of four to pass it. Then she asked us for our paragraphs on a movie that we had begun to watch. We watched perhaps 10 minutes and then she stopped it. Like most of the people in the class, I expected to see the rest of the movie at another time. Several days passed with no mention. My notes for the portion of the movie stayed in my notebook. She was amazed that most people had not written a paragraph. I turned in my notes. It will undoubtedly receive a low grade. I was listening to her today, when suddenly she said, "Are you alright?" It took a few moments to realize that she was speaking to me. Astonished, I said, "Yes. Why?" and she commented that she expected to see me writing as she spoke. I had already done so, and could not understand her singling me out. I perform well on the tests and my thoughts are that my notes are my business. My tests are hers. She asked a question and the other 'top dog' in the class raised his hand. Sarcastically, she said, "It's good to know that you have the right answer again, Joe." I don't bother to raise my hand anymore. I just don't. Just as likely as not, you're going to wind up looking like a fool for doing so. I listen. I listen hard. I take good notes in class. I take copious notes on the reading, and I make damn sure that I am prepared for a test of some sort each and every day that I go into that classroom. So far, my strategy has been working. I hover between an A and a B, although I fully expect to be slammed hard for the fact that my 'paragraph' was the notes I took for the portion of the movie we had viewed. I am anxious for my midterm grades.

On the way home, I thought of DavidM's post. Is there another way to look at all of this? I am a hard worker. My goal is the dean's list. It's not enough for me to do well. I want to do really well. I'm grabbing for the golden ring. I tried to see another reason for her behavior and I cannot, but what I can see is other ways for my own behavior. I can stop being rankled. She is not the first unreasonable person that I have run into. She will not be the last. I will focus on my performance, not hers. I will be prepared, always. I will also take a deep breath and accept the truth of it: she might be the difference between me and the dean's list. Simple truth of the matter is, even if I do not make the dean's list, I will undoubtedly do well this semester, and perhaps I need to learn to be okay with that.

Is there a difference between motivated and driven? There might be. Maybe I have crossed the line.

12 comments:

WhiteStone said...

Reminds me of what I used to tell the grandkids in our family..."you don't have to like the teacher but DO learn everything you can in that classroom".

Karen said...

You're right: This professor might be the difference between you and the dean's list. Sad but true, in the land of academia. Is there a way to appear to be respectful of this teacher, (even though it might require you to "eat a little crow," as the saying goes) yet maintain your pride in the process?

For instance, if she likes to see you writing as she speaks, write. Write anything! Then when you leave the class and drive away, then you can shake your head and laugh at the professor. Unfortunately, she holds the cards, to a large degree, and she knows it.

steviewren said...

I wish your first semester in college didn't include this nut case. Best to keep on doing what you are already. And pray.

Kelly said...

You know, it's really a shame that a teacher like this has to take away from the joy of learning!

Hang in there, Debby!!

Jayne said...

She sounds like she's feeling a tad threatened by you and wants to put you back in a box so she remains in control. Play the game, write notes, keep smiling, get what you can from her class and do your best but don't beat yourself up over another person's insecurity...that's her baggage, don't make it yours :)

Mary Paddock said...

She's the stone you must use to sharpen yourself against. That's all. Focus on your grades, focus learning what you need from the class. She is irrelevant, an irritant at best. If she singles you out remember that you are an adult and her equal in every way and look her right in the eye and and reply in a fashion that redirects her attention to the more important topic at hand (Remember you are her equal. Remember.). Do not let it become about personalities, because if you do, it will distract you from your goal--which is to get a good grade. This will not be the last professor you won't like.

And if she is only the reason that you don't make the Dean's list, complain to the head of the department. And if you do, complain anyway.

PS. I was a Psychology major in college and it's a shame she's ruining the experience for you. Psych 101 can be a great class.

BUSH BABE said...

See... this is where authority and me kinda hit a brick wall. I can take reasonable authority. I cannot (and WILL not) 'eat crow' when someone is being ludicrous in their little power plays. Makes me see red. Lucky you are not me, then.

Perhaps the 'other way' of seeing this, is as some kind of test. If you can keep your eye on being the best you can be, and not get distracted by this teacher, then perhaps that's kinda of the ultimate show of what you are made of (academia-wise). You can do it!
:-)
BB

bill of Wasilla said...

Ah, hell. I know that teacher. I have never met her, but I know her.

I wonder what went so wrong in her life?

Debby said...

Karen, that's the thing. I do take notes while she's talking (you'd be a fool not to...) I had already written down what she had said. Believe me, I take notes in the class. In my mind, I'm writing constantly. I must have stopped momentarily, but I write.

Debby said...

Oh, BB. I suck at eating crow. I'm stubborn. I try not to be, but I'm stubborn as all hell.

Bob said...

As I have told all three of my children (and myself continually) you will ALWAYS encounter difficult people, people who for lack of a better word, just come across as assholes. The way she is treating you is totally unfair. Don't let her get the best of you.

I just read this book where this guy reiterates what Jesus said about people who are difficult: We love them. We pray for them. We turn the other cheek. We go the extra mile with them.

How many times have I said, "Yes, but . . . " only to hear that small voice saying: love them; pray for them; turn the extra cheek; go the extra mile. But I don't want to . . . .

Will she change if you do these things? Probably not. But you will.

Blessings, good friend. Thanks for always inspiring us.

corymbia said...

Some people just like to assert their dominance over others.
She must have soem unmet need in her life to be bullying her students.