Saturday, May 10, 2008

Thank Heaven!!!

Well, it is finally over, the worst semester in history. I had some bad semesters when I was a student, but this semester, as a professor, was even worse. But at least I found out some very important things about myself and others.

First, I've determined that I never want to teach two Tuesday-Thursday classes back to back ever again. And in fact, I'd rather not teach them at all if possible. I never liked being a student in a Tuesday-Thursday class and I equally despise being the professor of one. I don't have the attention span to listen to someone lecture for 75 minutes and I don't have the stamina to do it myself. Also, I found it very difficult to learn the names of my students in the T-Th classes because I only saw them twice a week. And I hate not knowing my students' names.

Also, I found out that medication for depression and anxiety is not a cure all. And that sometimes following the advice of medical professionals is not the best course of action if it doesn't feel right to you. And as a corollary to that discovery I will add this. Don't let your "friends" convince you to start taking drugs. I know you always hear that in regard to illegal drugs, but it applies also to prescription drugs. They may be helpful in some circumstances, but don't let anyone convince you that they are really the answer, because most likely, they aren't. Plus, there is a good chance that the same friends that convinced you to take them in the first place won't be willing to be there for you when you still have problems in spite of the fact (or possibly because of the fact) that you are taking said medication.

This leads me to the other unpleasant discovery of the semester. That is that two people that I thought were my friends, were indeed, not my friends at all. It is my opinion that friends don't give friends the absolute boot and subsequent cold shoulder without any chance to clear up misunderstandings or even state your case in the matter. If they just make assumptions about your motives and feeling without even addressing the issue with you until they were ready to call it completely quites, that is not a friend. Plus, I have to say that to lie to a person about your feeling when you know that person has social anxiety is just cruel. Cruel. Period. Exclamation point! There is no other explanation for it. I guess the good thing is that I know now and I feel much better knowing where I stand. And in fact it makes me feel a little better about my judgment knowing that the discomfort I was detecting was real and not just a figment of my imagination as I was wrongly being led to believe.

The semester was not all bad, however. I did find that I can make at least a small difference in lives of my students. Teaching can be very demanding, but it can be fulfilling as well. I'm getting much more comfortable in the classroom and much more comfortable with the idea that it is my classroom and that I should focus on what I feel is most important regardless of how the textbook is designed.

So, anyway, I'll say again, thank heaven that it is finally over. I'm looking forward to a much more relaxing and enjoyable summer.

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