I played hooky today! I didn’t think my fragile ego could survive another student walking out of class during one of my lectures or showing up over 20 minutes late. I didn’t write consequences for this behavior in my syllabus, not having dealt with it in other colleges and universities. So, I will have to do so in the future, if I decide to return.
I believe myself to have resilience, being able to overcome whatever problems come my way. But, watching as these young people just pack their bags and sashay out of the classroom as if to say that they just can’t be bothered with what I have to say has tested the myth that I have told myself that I don’t take the disrespect personally.
Our confidence in ourselves, the measure of our self-esteem, can take quite a beating, even for those of us who have survived some of the worst examples of human behavior, when we seem to be rendered unimportant. But, it comes down to how much you will allow others to dictate how you see yourself and how you view your life.
I had been laying in the bed right past noon, having a pity party, lamenting ten more weeks of teaching before the end of the academic year. I wondered how I would get through it. Then, I read a post from Fractured Faith Blog on Is Your Future Exciting? that struck a chord in me. I needed to look at life differently.
For the last month, I also have been teaching the women’s over 50 Sunday School class at my church. What a joy it brings me to share my gifts with people who are excited to come and hear me! One lady told me last week that I was the best Sunday School teacher that they have ever had, and she has been the class secretary for thirty years! She told me that the women had broadcast my name all over the church, and Douglas informed me that the men in his class tell him how much their wives like my teaching! What an ego booster!
But, just as I cannot let the students who appear to think that I am waffling on about nothing to lower my sense of self, neither can I get the big head when people praise me. Admittedly, the praise shored up my fragile ego last week; yet, I know that life has to be seen as exciting just in the living of it.
The dear friend and her husband whose twenty-two-years-son died about a month ago in a car crash, this past Saturday buried another one of his sons from his first marriage who died from cancer at age 46. Two beloved sons buried within a month has to be devastating, and this was the fourth family funeral for this couple in six months!
When I think of how blessed I am just to be breathing at age 68, I have to live each day to the fullest, not allowing my fragile ego to be so easily shattered to the point that I am afraid of living my life to the fullest. As I read the blog, I got up and started being active, letting go of the bed and the pity.
Yes, every day is a gift wrapped in the paper of possibilities for laughter, love, and learning new things. You better believe my future is exciting, and I look forward to seeing what each day will bring, realizing that I have a part to play in decisions on how I view life.
You know, it’s funny how you forget the students who stay after class to discuss the lesson, and dwell on the others who act badly. When I think about it, the leaving early or the coming in 20 to 25 minutes late of some students may have reasons that have nothing to do with me or what I am teaching. I need to let them know that this behavior is unacceptable, even though it is not in the syllabus, rather than take to my bed!