h1

tit for tat

November 17, 2007

Confession: I’m not so good with people face to face.

Details: Actually, that’s not entirely true. I suppose when it comes to people, I’m just like everyone else: I can do pretty much anything I want, when I’m in the mood. I’ve had far flung days when I was so capable of handling people, I could have sold ice cubes to Inuits. The art of asking for things is quite the ellusive one, and on the days when I’m roaring and ready to go, I can get what I want, even if I have to put a little sympathy tug in my voice.

That said, I’ve had days when I was so capable of handling people, I would have rather spent the rest of my days in the bottom of a trash can, peeking out every so often to see when all the scary folk were gone.

I’m not so terribly scared of people, but when I was in college, I went through this phase where I hated just about everybody. This was all part of what happens when people you spend entirely too much time with decide that you need to be a topic of conversation. Plus, I’d been going through a really bad break-up, and it didn’t help the Ex was waiting around every corner to nervously avoid me just as much as I was for him. That’s where my first luscious and beautiful iPod came in, because all I had to do was plug into a recording of something or other, and ignore everyone. I did it all the time. All the time. Like…a lot. Daily.

Confession: It wasn’t that I was trying to ignore everyone, I just didn’t know how to handle my grief and anger.

Details: Of all the things that were going through my head, I had one giant bundle of nerve ending solely dedicated to handling the emotions centering two fairly close friends at the time. Well, I say close, but it was more like they were frat brothers, and I partied with them often. Took trips with them, and all. Very attractive men, and very nice guys, and hard to interpret. Plus, all I knew in my head was that I was lonely, and these two people were talking to me on a regular basis and seemed to care about me as a person. So, naturally, I developed a crush that normally would be weighed in metric tons. Couldn’t talk to them at all. At least not after a couple embarrassing incidents at a party involving truth or dare. No, I did not confess my love to them over truth or dare.

Confession: Yes, I did confess my love for them in a) a drunken stupor, and b) a lonely rage.

Details: But it ended all well enough because they are gracious people, and I don’t think they could have held something like that against me. Besides, that was all two years ago, and lots of stuff has happened since then. Things like graduating and learning that I have to keep my head above water since I have students I have to attend to daily.

Confession: When I was a Junior, I had a fitful lesson with my private saxophone teacher who told me my personal problems didn’t matter when I walked through the door of the classroom, and I needed to get over it already.

Details: Best advice I ever got.

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5 comments

  1. I loved this post – the set up, the confession and the oh-so-important details.

    I too have escaped many exs and unwanted people through my iPod. Seriously, what ever did we do without them?


  2. Amen Carrie.

    You know, I find it’s not even the ipod itself. It’s the act of having headphones in your ears that makes it appear you have a “do not disturb” sign hanging around your neck. Although the tasty jams playing on the ipod seem to help mute everybody else out a bit easier than just empty headphones 😉

    Digg it!

    -K


  3. Good post.


  4. About the advice:

    While I think there’s a huge bit of truth in it, I can’t say that it’s ALL truth. You are a human being, and part of your job as a teacher is to model appropriate behavior. You can’t model appropriate behavior if you’re a robot. I think that it’s perfectly okay to let a little bit of who you really are peek through, even if it’s just something like “you know what, you guys? I’m having a hard time focusing today. There’s some stuff going on that’s taking up a lot of my energy. Let’s do this, this, and this, and try to get some good work done, but I know that I’m not going to be my usual self.” Right there, we’re giving our students a chance to see how grown ups deal with hard shit in their personal lives that spills into their professional lives, and I think that may be a far more important lesson than whatever was on the syllabus for that day…


  5. I’d have to agree with you. It’s more about how you handle your shit than whether or not you have it at all. I think that’s what my teacher was going for, because I entered that lesson that day a blubbering idiot. I was sobbing and soaking myself with tears, and he asked what was wrong. I told him “I’m having a hard life right now,” and he said “I don’t care.” Later he explained that I was there to work, not have a personal counseling session, and that my students wouldn’t care what I had going on in my life either. A cold lesson, but a good one nonetheless.



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