Thursday, October 9, 2008


My story starts early last Thursday. Well, not really early, but early on in Philosophy class. And this is just a small subsection of a big story I have to tell you that spans over a whole week, but only covers three of those days. It'll make sense later.

So, you may have heard, if you follow me on Twitter, that I am not particularly fond of my Philosophy class. The teacher is not very nice, the constant questions are confusing and the whole "which philosopher generated which theory" thing absolutely confounds me. I have no clue who said any of the things I hear in class. I have no textbook, only a novel with occasional side notes crediting quotes and theories to their philosophers in a small paragraph or even one line sentence.

Oh yeah, and it also reminds me of that one day I threw up in class, but we won't go there today.

No, today we are taking a trip that many a student has taken before. The trip down the familiar "This teacher has a personal vendetta against me!" road.

Let's begin, shall we?

So yeah, as I was saying. Last Thursday. I was in Philosophy class as you may or may not have already guessed, and the teacher was introducing the subject of discussion. In my constant stupor of thought that possesses me the moment I enter the room, I was confused before he finished his first sentence.

What do confused students do? Naturally, they raise their hands to ask a question or make a comment in an often futile attempt to become un-confused.

So I raised my hand.

Usually, when this happens, I get positive feedback from teachers. I get a kind answer and a patient explanation of whatever confusing thing I am asking about. Sometimes the response is humorous and says "don't worry, it doesn't make a lot of sense to me either" and sometimes it says "don't worry, you'll get it in a while" or maybe even "that was a really thoughtful question, I'm glad you asked!!".

What I got this time, word for word started with "Put your hand down!! I haven't asked any questions yet!!"

That surprised me, but I went on to answer that I didn't want to answer any questions, and that I had a question of my own.

The teacher faces the class and laughingly tells them something to the effect of "this girl is so funny! I haven't even opened the discussion and she's already anxious to participate! She is just so excited about this class, it kills me! It's so funny because she loves this class so much!"

He was laughing, and I wasn't. He was trying to dismiss me as just another one of those students who is vying for their daily amount of "participation" extra credit. I wasn't one of those students.

Now for a little sidenote. Those of you who know me know that I have a hard time lying. And sometimes, I am even blunt or brutally honest about what is on my mind. Trust me, this is one of those times that bluntness was needed.

I quickly corrected him, telling him "Oh, no, no, no, no, no. No. I hate this class. I'm just confused"

The rest of the class laughed. I did not. (Neither did the teacher if you are curious)

I thought then that he might've been mad at me.

I might be right.

Last Tuesday, the teacher condemned a student for wearing a Boston Red Sox hat. The student quickly tried to make up for this by insiting that he didn't like the Red Sox, and was only wearing the hat for the colors. The team he is really a fan of is the New York Yankees. Really.

Did that work? No. Apparently, the teacher is a fan of the White Sox. He then goes on to warn against claiming support for either the Red Sox or the Yankees. He says that either team is ridiculous and that, while we have a free pass today because of our ignorance, he will not be so lenient in the future.

Of course, he was playing around. The other students were laughing, I was laughing, and even the teacher thought that he was hilarious. I don't know enough about baseball to be a fan of any team, so I decided to comment that I was a fan of "all baseball teams".

I started it out with "I'm a fan of the Yankees and the Red Sox!". I was about to go on to say that I liked ALL the baseball teams! After all, they must be talented to make it into the pros and being that skilled means training, endurance, hard work. . all admirable qualities.

But before I had the chance to tell him anything about my widespread respect for all teams in baseball, he interrupted me.

"You are about to leave this class." and this time, he wasn't kidding. He took my remark as a smart mouth thing to say. This was unfortunate for me.

Thus began the verbal onslaught of threats. "If you want to review with us this class for the test next Tuesday, you need to just shut your mouth." or "If you want to stay in this class with us, you will not mention either the Red Sox or the Yankees again the rest of the period" and then there was the "there is a difference between 'joking around' like we've been doing - ha ha haaa -and being rude to the teacher like you just were"

Needless to say, I was ignored for the rest of the day (which was bad because he wanted everyone to tell him what to review, and I had alot I wanted to review) and everytime I raised my hand, either the subject was quickly changed or he just ignored me until I put it down and he called on someone else.

Thus the whole "personal vendetta" theory.

So today in class, we took a test. I studied very hard for this one, and will be surprised if I get any lower than an 80% on it.

You should've seen the look on his face this afternoon when I looked him straight in the eyes while wearing my dad's New York Yankees cap and left after finishing my test.


Dreaming again said...

Painful. Philosophy teachers are notoriously hard, arrogant and difficult ... the more outspoken a student, the worse they can be.

Unfortunately for you, the student, you won't know till the end of the semester if he TRULY dislikes you ...or if he decided to ..for the sake of philosphy to make a point ... to push you to your breaking point. Don't let him.

It's often the smart (street smart) and intelligent ones that they decide to stick their claws into ..and often because they either A) respect them or B) think they can take it or C) both of the above.

Hang in there girl, I'm here if you need to chat!


Rebecca said...

UGH! I hate teachers like that! Good for you for standing up to him. I hope he doesn't give you lower grades just because you stand up for yourself.

Try not to disrespect him too much. If you're dishing out too much disrespect that is all that you will get in return. Even if you don't think you are, he might. Hang in there and don't let anything he might say upset you. You're better than that. :D