Thursday, April 20, 2017

all the feels

This week is teaching evaluations.

I dislike these. I get that they're necessary (you want to be able to shoehorn out that guy who is verbally abusive to the student, or the senile mumbler lecturing from 25 year old notes, or the woman who does nothing but talk about her kids in class) and mine are never all that bad, but still: I dislike being judged because I'm too good at seeing the ways that I think I come up wanting.

Part of me was thinking today: wow, I could really just totally take the gloves off after evals. I could stop trying to be ingratiating, stop trying to be accommodating. I won't, because it's not in my nature, but I could.

(I sometimes think I am too much of a people pleaser, that I am too concerned with others' happiness and not enough with my own, and since I have no one nearby who cares that much about whether I'm happy or not....)

Anyway. In my second class of the day I had a pair of gigglers. I can't tell if:

a. it's a "mating pair" (I've had that before)
b. it's something I said/did (I know my Northern accent means I talk funny to some people here. And also I talk with my hands which is sometimes kind of awkward and I hate seeing myself on video because of it)
c. something totally unrelated to me or the topic I was covering.

(It's probably c, of course, but my inner critic can't help but review to see what I said that was weird or awkward in class)

And yeah. I just let them go. They were a row behind everyone else, back in the back, and no one seemed too bothered.

And something struck me - I wonder how my past as a teased kid plays into this. I was the kid where other kids would be snickering or laughing and then straighten up when I walked in (Or, worse, they'd laugh HARDER). And I wondered:

Does having been teased as a kid make me more tolerant of this, in the sense of, "Oh this is par for the course for me and saying something will only make it worse" (because when I was a kid, saying something ALWAYS made it worse. The only way to go was to keep your head up and keep walking like you WEREN'T actually dying inside - Never look back, walk tall, act fine.). That my ability to be incensed about it has kind of gotten burnt out and maybe I don't notice it as much as someone without my history would

Or did it make me more sensitive to it, where I now expect every time people are laughing over some stupid thing, that that stupid thing is me? I mean, intellectually, I know "What do people think of you? They don't" but emotionally I go back to being that sad 13-year-old in the dark corner of the lunchroom, eating alone AGAIN because everyone else is higher in the popularity chain and won't want her at their table.

Ugh, I don't know. Part of this is being tired at the end of the semester and allergied-out. Part of this is that it's wickedly humid today and I feel kind of cruddy but I still have to make myself mow the lawn this afternoon so the city doesn't get on my case (People pleasing, though with a side of conflict avoidance there).

I would love to have a chance to replay my life, only this time being a somewhat-popular kid, and see how I would turn out differently. Would I be basically me, but more confident and less willing to take crap off of people? Or would I turn out a monster of ego because I was POPULAR? I don't know, though some days I think it's a risk I'd be willing to take.

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