Skip to main content

Say that you love me

An unexpected thing happened during class yesterday.  A student asked a question, which was a bit of a tangent from the discussion at hand.  I began to answer the student with great enthusiasm, since it's something that I get really excited about.  While I was doing so, another student stopped me.  He said "I don't want to learn whatever you're teaching."  It was a very small thing, but it was very deflating.  It was rain on my parade.  It was hearing a child excitedly discuss all of the rides ey looks forward to riding at Disneyland and then telling em that ey's not really going after all.

I was shocked.  I was stunned.  This was unprecedented.  A student had never cut me off mid-stride like that before.  I was hurt.  I was furious.  Instantly, a dozen different ideas rushed into my mind.  I could tell him to leave the room.  I could reprimand him for his comment.  I could grade his upcoming test harshly.  I could simply ignore him and continue on.  For several seconds I just stood there, with my mouth still open, and thought all of these things and felt all of these feelings.  I didn't know what to do or how to react.

For the roughly 10 or 15 minutes that remained in that class and during most of my class immediately following, I thought deeply about this incident.  It perplexed me.  Why should I become so angry at a student for being honest?  Tactless, yes.  Impertinent, yes.  But not unjustifiable.  At any rate, even if it were something completely rude and even entirely untrue, I should not become angry over it.  Why did it bother me so?

I often say that I am very confident.  And I think I really am.  People who know me would probably attest to that.  I am a fairly confident person.  Especially as a teacher.  I'm very confident when I'm teaching freshman level math courses.  But I think that perhaps sometimes my confidence is not self-confidence, it is other-confidence.  I mean to say that my confidence isn't always something intrinsic within myself--that I am confident merely because I believe myself to be qualified--but that it is extrinsic and based on how other people view me--more importantly, how they treat me.

Let's go back to my example.  I'm talking about something that I think is incredibly fascinating.  I know much about it and I think it's really cool.  Then a student cuts me off and says not only that it isn't fascinating but that he has no interest in being told about it at all.  This is a blow to my confidence.  I want my students to love me, even when I'm teaching them something that isn't on the curriculum for the course.

I want everyone to love me.  I surround myself with lots of friends.  I like having friends.  I have never felt like I have too many friends at any point in my life.  I enjoy being social with other people.  I enjoy having friends.  And I want them all to love me.  I want them to love everything about me.  I want them to love the fact that I'm gay and that I'm in a relationship with an amazing man.  I want them to love the fact that I'm atheist and think that religion is garbage.

I want people to think of me as smart, kind, loving, caring, wise, respectful, and every other positive quality.  When I am truly honest with myself, I like being smart.  In fact, I like being smarter than other people.  I like being taller than other people.  I like being nicer than other people.  I even like being fatter than other people.  I like being a beacon for other people.  I like being the shoulder to cry on.  I like being the friend people come to for advice.  I like being the confidant.

I hate being criticized.  I hate people suggesting that I'm less than perfect.  I hate being told that I'm less than what I think I am.

So what does that say about me?  That I'm selfish?  I suppose so.  Ego-centric?  Yes, I think that's the definition of the word.  So, what's the next step?  Where do I go from here?  I don't know what to do about it.  I'm not sure what course of action to take.  But isn't being aware of it and admitting it a good start?  I think that it's empowering to be aware of things such as this.

Also, I love the song (although this is my first time seeing the music video--it's weird).

Popular posts from this blog

What's a gainer?

If you haven't already done so, I would suggest reading my previous post before reading this one.  It's sort of an introduction and gives the motivation.  Also, by way of disclosure, this post is not sexually explicit but it does touch on the topic of sexuality and how that relates to the subject at hand.

So, what is a gainer?  I'll relate, as best I can, the experiences I have gone through myself to help answer the question.  I remember when I was a young boy--perhaps around 6 or 7--I would have various fantasies.  Not sexual fantasies, just daydreaming about hypothetical situations that I thought were interesting or entertaining.  I had many different fantasies.  Sometimes I would fantasize about becoming very muscular, sometimes about becoming very fat.  
These fantasies varied in degree of magnitude and the subject of the fantasy.  Sometimes I myself would change weight--I would become muscular or fat.  Other times, I would do something to make other people fat or musc…

The scientific method vs the religious method

I find it interesting when people cite the fact that science keeps changing as a reason to disbelieve it and to believe instead in the "eternal" doctrines taught by some church or other.  Let's examine why science keeps changing.  Here's the scientific method.

Develop a hypothesis (this means "have a belief").Design an experiment to test the hypothesis.Conduct the experiment.Determine whether the hypothesis is believable based on the results of the experiment. This is why science keeps changing--because people notice flaws in it and correct them.  People once thought the solar system was geocentric, but now know that it's heliocentric.  How did this happen?  By using the scientific method.  Scientists are willing to admit that they're wrong.  They're willing to give up a bad idea when they see evidence that it makes no sense.  Contrast this with the religious method (simplified version). Have a belief.Look for evidence to support that belief.Ignor…

Gymtimidation

Like many of my posts, this one has been floating around in my mind for a couple months.  I know many people avoid the gym because it is intimidating, so I'd like to share my thoughts about this phenomenon.  First of all, obviously going to the gym isn't the only intimidating thing in life, and many of these thoughts are things that easily translate to any other of these intimidating things.

So I'd like to share some of my personal experiences with gyms.  The first time I recall ever going into a weight room to use it was my first year of college.  I had PE classes all through K-12, but I don't remember ever using the weight room--just group sports, etc.  I recall being intimidated by all the machines.  Some of them I could figure out on my own, but many of them I just stared at and couldn't possibly conceive how it was meant to be used.  Fortunately, I occasionally went with friends and one friend was very familiar with all the equipment so he could help.  So, kn…