Saturday, October 1, 2011


This is the first day of October, and it is downright chilly here. (The dreaded 's' word is being used in the weather forecast, unbelievably.) We heat with wood, and so we do not fire up the woodstove until it is good and cold. Chilly is not good and cold. Chilly is something that you are for a time until the sun comes out. Chilly means that you fire up the little propane heater we have on the wall of the living room. Chilly means you wrap yourself up in an afghan, sipping hot coffee while you type on the computer. Chilly means that you wish you had a cat, because a cat would be curled up on your lap under the afghan, generating heat which would warm you. The cat would also be purring, which would soothe your soul.

My legs are bad today. Very bad. I can scarcely walk. Cold does seem to make things worse, so I am hopeful that things settle down before I have to go to work.

Today's a new day, one step farther away from the chaos of yesterday. Apparently being sensitive to the differences applies only to OTs and their patients. It does not apply to OT professors towards their students. My note was designed to not call attention to myself or my position in a classroom setting. She read it on the way up front, and she was angry. I knew that much. So did the rest of the class. The session in the office was not good. I am insubordinate, she does not like my demeanor, all the professors have noticed it, and she doubts my fitness to do fieldwork, anticipating that my superiors will have problems with me and my attitude. I was proud of my behavior in the office, anyway. I did not cry, although I very much wanted to. She could not provide any examples of my insubordinate behavior except one: A professor was having problems with the class, and I put a note on the test we were taking saying that her rules were different than Heather and Sarah's rules, and that she needed to let people know what she expected from them. "Who do you think you are? What gave you the right to speak to this teacher directly?" The hierarchy is that I need to bring all situations to the attention of the department heads who will address that teacher. I listened. It was not my goal to embarrass the teacher professionally. I did not think it was important enough to bring her superiors in to counsel her. I tried to explain this, but it was explained to me that I am a student and have no right to counsel my teachers. That is not my place. That is not my position.

After leaving, I had a good cry. But I know how it is now. There will be absolutely no more differences of opinions with my teachers. I will keep my mouth shut, and I will do the work. I will graduate.

But they will not mail the letter. That is my choice.


Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog with interest, and feel compelled to de-lurk/write.

As a (fee paying?) student I believe you have every right to "counsel" your teachers, and express an opinion; with respect and appropriately (which sounds as though you've done, but hasn't been reciprocated). They're in exactly the same position you are with your customer's at work ...

This "professor" sounds like a bully, one who enjoys intimidating and manipulating, someone who does this to mask their own insecurities and inabilities.

Stick to your guns, and I too would object to having an assignment used for what is patently political means. I imagine some of your younger classmates would have liked to have taken a similar stand to you, but were too intimidated to make a comment, unaware of being manipulated, or didn't realise they had a choice.

Good luck with the rest of your studies.

Kiwi Lindsay

A Novel Woman said...

"Well behaved women seldom make history."

You are well suited to be an outstanding OT. Maybe your superiors will have problems with you, but I'm thinking you are going to be one hell of a patient advocate and isn't that why you're going into this field in the first place?

Mikey said...

Unfrigginbelievable! Anon is right, you are a paying student, and YES you can question your teachers, and you have a right to ask what they expect of you, so you can do the best job you can and get a good grade. WTF is wrong with these people? Stick to you guns Debby, don't let them bully you around. Don't ever be afraid to stand up and speak out.
I just can't believe this. You get called on the carpet for not going along with the sheeple? Unreal.

Kelly said...

Oh my! I'm flabbergasted at the response you got! That's unreal!

Great comments above - take them to heart. Never let anyone intimidate you into compromising your principles.

Cara said...

Who's office were you pulled into? If it was anything less than the department head, I would take serious issue with it. No professor ever has the right to reprimand you, they have channels they should be using as well.

BUSH BABE said...

I'm sorry. You are AMERICA right? Good grief... this kind of thing might seriously harm the US street cred for the whole 'free speech' thing. Don't let the B******S get you down.

quid said...

I'm worried about your legs.

Bitchy, is she not? You will find them in the workplace, as well. Your job is to steer the ship around the icebergs, of which she is one. You will do it well.

I believe in you.


Pencil Writer said...

I remember giving a college teacher (my first year of college) a piece of my mind--in class. I was probably the oldest freshman in the class. I was 21 or 22. The teacher was 25 and a first time teacher. We had conflicting ideas on several issues pertaining to the class, including teaching methods, etc. We disagreed openly during class. (This was an art class, by the way.) I had talked with him in his office a couple of times trying to give him some "pointers".

At the end of the semester the instructor critiqued our semester's work privately with each student. I was rather surprised with the A he gave me, and even more surprised when he told me he appreciated my "pointers". He did seem to modify some of his requirements for his students. It was a very interesting class, and I'm really glad I had that experience.

I'd stick to my guns, too. (Note the above comments.) You are a valuable individual with a lot of life experience. The "staff group" you were being reprimanded by seem to need a refresher course in human dignity/respect--especially if they're trying to teach future OT's. The little snide "poem" of one of your instructors seems totally inappropriate, too. (I better limit my comments to that.) Good luck to you, Debby. Sometimes the high road is a little lonely

Lori said...

Stick to your guns!!