24 March 2010

After The Trauma

Today I taught two sections of the intro to literature classes. They are normally different, as the earlier class has more mature, or at least older, students than the later class. In the earlier class, it seemed that the students had read the works I assigned and took good notes on them. On the other hand, it seemed that only a couple of students in the later class had done the assignment.

Fortunately for me, I was observed in the earlier class. And I was observed by the prof with whom I began to develop something of a rapport last semester. She was the same prof whom I'd assumed was feeling self-important over having gotten a prestigious fellowship, or simply didn't like me.

The students were great. But I must have been doing a really good job of teaching. After all, they--including the younger male students--were paying attention to me. And the prof who was observing me is obviously younger and definitely more attractive than I am!

The rest of the day at the college, however, was more of the same insanity that one experiences there on any other given day. Nothing particularly bad happened, at least not to me. Still, I sensed the same sorts of hostility and tension I've been able to practically feel on my skin at that place. Maybe that's what you're supposed to feel after you've been treated as if you have a mental deficiency or character defect when you ask people an honest (though not politically incorrect) question and they attack your integrity or character, or treat you as if you have a mental or character defect.

At least tonight I had dinner with Regina, who used to work at the college. Now she's at LaGuardia Community College, where I used to teach. Ironically (and sadly) enough, she said that she was "traumatized" by her time there. That, in essence, is how I've described my experience at the college in yesterday's posting. For some time after she left, she still expected her current co-workers to act the way her supervisior and the administration at my current college did and still do. In fact, she told me, one of her current co-workers said, "Relax, you're not at (College X) anymore."

At this moment, I envy her that. Of course, I don't want to have no job--or money. I'd just like to be in a situation where more of the people are like Regina, and I don't have to defend myself for trying to do a better job, or simply being who I am.

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