I’m 52 and going back to college. It’s been awhile since I’ve been at this institute of higher learning.
34 years to be exact. 34 years ago, the perception I had of professors is apparently different from the one I have now. I learned the hard way last night that professors are not perfect–don’t know everything–and get kinda pissy when you know more than they do.
I should have expected that 34 years of life experience and real-world education brings more to the classroom than the other undergrads I share elementary school desks with. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a know-it-all in any sense of the word, but one of the reasons I’m passionate about school is the opportunity to engage in an exchange of ideas and beliefs.
So last night, at the start of class, the Professor begins with a discussion of current events. She led with the poor guy in Florida who was swallowed by the sink hole. Sorry, Prof, but I can get this on American’s favorite infotainment news network–CNN, so I promptly changed the subject to the Attorney General’s unwillingness to rule out targeted Drone strikes on US citizens on US soil (he subsequently issued a statement recanting this). She immediately became indignant and stated that she needed to know the context. I briefly summarized the current debate over the Administration’s targeted killing program, and again, she hedged and seemed irritated and essentially dismissed my “current event”.
To say my ego was bruised is an understatement. It took about an hour before I finally realized she didn’t have a clue what I was talking about and it apparently embarrassed her (speculation on my part, I admit). Nonetheless it taught me a lesson. I need to remember that Professors are human too and are subject to the same life stressors we all have and she may not have the same keen interest/passion in current events that I do. Granted it is a US History class (1860-present) but hey, I’ll cut her some slack. She’s a competent instructor with a passion for teaching and an engaging style.
I just need to remember to that not everybody see the world through my lenses…and moderate my expectations in junior college while maintaining my enthusiasm for learning.