Thursday, February 12, 2015

Yeah, I know

I had a little epiphany this afternoon. This is something I should *know* already, and I kind of do, but I sometimes forget it.

I had a giggler - or rather, two - again in class today. It makes me self-conscious. Yes, I know I am excessively interested in academic things other people might not be. Yes, I gesticulate wildly when I talk - that is just who I am. But having someone giggle at me while I do it - or, what I perceive as giggling AT me when it might be over something different all together - just breaks my stride and makes me self-conscious. Anyway, the two people I had the most trouble with have calmed down, and this may partly be - I can't tell for sure - a "mating pair" issue (that is, a coupled couple in my class. I occasionally get those. Most of the time it's fine, and sometimes I don't even realize that it's a pair (well, unless they have the same last name) unless someone tells me.) But once in a while, the pair aspect becomes a problem (flashback to my first semester of teaching, and having to tell the couple sitting in the back row of the class - we had long bench-like tables, on risers - that I could see them running their hands all over each other's thighs during class.

Wait, wait: here's a graphic expressing my reaction:

And no, I'm not the prudiest prude who ever pruded, but seriously, it's GROSS to be trying to teach and out of the corner of your eye see two people practically feeling each other up.

But anyway. Yeah, the gigglers. I stopped and stared, and then quietly said something the second time it happened. It annoys me because I don't like the other students being disturbed, and it does also play on all my insecurities, going back to grade school when some of the other girls would laugh at me.

But anyway. Several other things took place this week:

1. I did the talk at church on the history of music in the Stone-Campbell churches. It was well-received, and one man asked me to print out a copy (I had typed it up so I wouldn't draw a blank up in the lectern) so he could take it home for his dad, who is not well enough to attend church, but who wanted to read it.

2. I apparently said just the right thing to cheer up an online friend who is going through breakup unhappiness.

3. A student came to me (this is in the other class) and asked me, "Is there any way I could take the exam an hour or two early, during your office hours? My son is in Academic Bowl at school tomorrow. I thought it was going to be Saturday but it's tomorrow and I'd really like to go and cheer him on. If you can't, I understand." Well, partly because the request was made respectfully, partly because it's no skin off my nose (I have office hours at that time and will be here), but mainly because I remember liking it when my parents showed up for stuff like when I was in Spelling Bee, I said, "Sure, come on in, you can take it then." And she was happy and thanked me.

And I realized, based on all those things: the opinion of one person (which I may be misinterpreting anyway; it could be they are laughing over some personal joke or over some cat video they watched right before class) does not change the fact of who I am. It does not, to use a phrasing I am not entirely comfortable using, make me any less awesome.

Because I am awesome* in a lot of ways.

I am a compassionate person who strives not to be a jerk to other people.

I am smart and I have common sense and I use it.

I am polite to people - I see other people as people, I don't just see shopclerks and such as "wallpaper," I try to see them as humans.

I can make people laugh. I mean, because I intended to and because I intentionally said something funny.

I work hard at things.

I am responsible. If I say I'm going to do something, it will get done.

I have a good memory.

I am a good cook, I can write fairly well if I'm allowed time to revise, I can knit and crochet and sew and do minor repairs around the house.

I'm not afraid of having to deal with small snakes (as long as I know they are non venomous) or mice or "waterbugs." Or spiders.

I am patient, perhaps more patient with some students than they deserve.

I can often come up with solutions to problems that other people are having.

I tend to be the one who keeps her head in a real emergency.

When I was younger, I had a fly-off-the-handle temper and I realized I had to work on that and I did, and now I tend to be fairly slow to anger.

I am generous.

I am loyal to my friends and to people I care about, and will defend them if someone says something false about them.

I like most people. Heck, I strive to like most people. (This is probably a legacy of not having many friends as a an adult, it seems like MOST people like me, so by golly, I'm going to return the favor. I tend to be more tolerant of personality quirks than some people I know)

And frankly, all of those things make me a decent human being. And in this day and age, being a decent human being, I think, makes you awesome. Because I occasionally have to deal with people who aren't very decent human beings in some ways. Or at least aren't acting like it at that moment in time.

(*It's funny how hard it is for me to declare myself "awesome" or state a number of things that are, frankly, true about me. I think it's because I half-expect some Mean Girl from my past to pop up and deny it, and to tell me exactly why I am wrong....)

1 comment:

Nicole said...

Decent human beings are hard to find sometimes and being one does indeed make you awesome. :)