I went to class early today to ask the prof some questions about the assignment with which I’ve been struggling.
She was curt, to say the least. She rashly waved her pen along my lines of calculations, “This is wrong, all wrong.”
“Thanks,” I said, and walked back to my seat.
Later, I spoke up in class, trying to answer a question she had posed. She made a face, told me I didn’t have the right answer and looked elsewhere.
It’s not just me, she’s like this to most of the students. I frantically copied her notes, not really understanding what she was saying, just writing for dear life. I didn’t dare speak up again.
Calculus is not an easy subject for me. I look at those scribbles on the board and it may as well be Russian. She asks questions and everyone looks back at her dumbly, silence filling the room. To me, that says no one else knows either.
I got back to the car and cried. Because she was so mean and because I was feeling really oversensitive today and because this is so damn hard and because, because, because.
“Are you crying??” Steve exclaimed as the hot tears rolled down my face. I just wanted to be alone, to go home and crawl into a hot bath and cry some more until it was all out and I could deal with things again.
I love Steve with all of my heart. He is a good husband and father. But he just doesn’t understand sometimes. When I feel beaten down, I want to be alone and wallow for a while and cry and mope and maybe read a stupid magazine in the tub. When he starts to feel beaten down, he tells himself to change what’s wrong, to move forward, he just doesn’t let himself feel those things.
And that, right there is the fundamental difference between us. How we deal with stress.
We sat in silence for most of the way home. I contemplated dropping the class. But it’s a prerequisite for almost all the other classes I need along the way, so that’s not a good decision. I thought about talking to a different professor teaching the same class and seeing if it was possible to switch sections, but that didn’t seem realistic either. I thought about strolling into class Monday morning and calling the prof out for being such a smug know it all bitch.
Then I decided that I would go home and keep working on this assignment. I will find myself a tutor. I will get extra help. I will try to have a thicker skin when I need to talk to her. I decided that this will not break me.
I will do my best.
I will work as hard as I have to.
I may not get a good grade, I may not pass.
But this, like every other challenge, will make me stronger.
This class, this prof will not define me.
This. Will. Not. Break. Me.