25 June, 2010

Chocolates and Empathy

I talk a lot. I really do. People who do not know me think that I am a very introverted guy, and I’m not saying that I’m not, but when they get to know me they get surprised by my verbosity. I make really awesome conversations. I know I do. I have enough people to back me on that.

That is why I’m so frustrated with my Speech class. Our instructor keeps on saying that he’s SO disappointed with the dead silence in our class. Honestly, I am also disappointed with my performance just as much. What disappoints me more is his ideology that us students are unresponsive because we don’t like him. He also keeps on reminding us that we must like him, and quoting him, “Force yourselves to like me.”

Today, we had another dose of his sermon. He just said those same things… that we’re in a Speech class then we must all talk because it’s our duty to talk and communicate and participate… blah blah blah… I know you may not like me but we’ll be working together for four months so force yourselves to like me… blah blah blah… STOP. I’ve had enough. I raised my hand. I did. I don’t know how the hell it happened but I really was thinking that I should say something and I didn’t know that I actually raised my hand. I got his attention. 

“Can I ask you something?” I said. He said sure.

Then came the trouble with me. I was gonna say, “How good do you think you are?” so I may burst his bubble that we’re the one with something amiss, the one lacking. I know if I had said that he would be so damn mad. For God so loved the world, I was able to spit out something else. “It may be a little personal, though.” That’s a fine sentence. That bought me a little more time to rephrase my question or think of something less insulting to ask. I wanted to back out. I think I said, “No, never mind. Sorry.” He insisted, though. He wanted me to ask him the question but I was struggling with my words… I was thinking of a way to ask him that, a way to get my message across, but I was fumbling for the appropriate words as I struggled with ethics. I was freaking out. Finally, I said, “Do you think we’re not good students?”

Wow, that’s a thousand miles farther from my intended statement but a million times less impolite. Unsurprisingly, he said no. He said that our being unparticipative is different from our being not good students. I was confused with that statement. He went on saying more things. When he finished, he looked at me and waited for me to talk. I told him about my frustrations. I told him that his students like him but the teacher-student relationship will take time to develop, especially with the nature of our class. So the discussion was permanently interrupted. Some of my classmates started talking to him. After his short chats with them, he asked me if I had more questions. I said I had none.

He announced that we were going to have an activity. He wanted us to think of the last time we had an empathic communication with someone. He gave us two minutes then he went out of the room. Our lesson was not about empathic communications so that activity came out of the blue. He also said that he didn’t do that with his other class. He came back with chocolates.

He wanted us to form a huge circle and get one chocolate. I got a really nice Choco cereal bar. It was like a bonfire story session or an open forum kinda thing. Classmates started sharing their stories and he commented after each story. I had my turn to share a story.

I don’t know why but I feel a little guilty about what I did. Did I make him feel bad? What did I do? Did I do something wrong? Was I wrong to comment on his sermon? Was my response inappropriate?

Now I’m having a real struggle with ethics. My conscience is lashing me. I need someone to slap me and make me realize what I had done. I need someone to explain things I do not understand about myself.

kudos to sir.


Anonymous said...

I remember a similar situation back in my elementary days. The class was having problems with the teacher so she had us to do an activity somewhat unrelated to the lesson, but we all know it has something to do with the conflict.

I bet the professor won't forget you until his retiring days. Well, at least you were able to state a question far less impolite than the first one that came to your mind. Things would've been different, otherwise. It would've been worse.

Is this the class where we were supposed to be classmates? But sadly it's in conflict with my other class so I couldn't enlist it.

Well, we haven't come to the middle of the semester yet. Things would probably be better when we reach it already. Great things sometimes happen in the middle of a time span. And when they do, you might not even want this semester to end. Hahaha!

Anyways, good luck to your class. Be a good kid. Hehehe. Kidding.

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