Thursday, August 11, 2011

Respect

Respect:  Give it to get it
Image taken from here.

I fought with a college professor once. Which I rarely do actually since I'm usually very mild-mannered and respectful of authority, but sometimes I just can't help it. And I did have a bit of a temper when I was younger.

It started when I went to her office to try to get a copy of a short story I submitted for her class. I was trying to compile a writing portfolio, and unfortunately, my computer broke down, so I had to try to look for copies elsewhere. I set an appointment with her three times, and she failed to show up each time. The fourth and last time, she bit my head off, and told me off for being makulit (annoying). That was the last straw.

I went straight to the library and wrote a letter of pure venom, then attached it to her door. Then I stopped bugging her.

Three months later, I passed by her office on my way to meet another prof. There was a letter attached to her door with my name on it. It looked old, and it was addressed to me. I initially thought she would bite my head off. I opened the letter and read its contents. She was basically apologizing for her behavior.

She definitely earned a lot of respect from me then.

I remember something I wrote on the letter. I'm trying to remember so please forgive the inaccuracy. Anyway, it went something like this: "I understand that you are my teacher, but I've always been told that respect is something you extend to everyone, whoever he might be. Perhaps you weren't listening when they taught that. Whatever your position, it does not excuse your disrespect. I have a right to demand common courtesy from people I regard as my supposed intellectual superiors, even if they are not necessarily my moral ones."

Considering that I actually wrote something like that to her, her reply told me a lot about her character as a person. I guess my point is that people can surprise you sometimes. And not always in a bad way. :-)

13 comments:

  1. A lot of college professors use their authority to feel superior (morally and intellectually) to students. Buti hindi ganun prof mo :)

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  2. I got in a similar spat with a college professor only it didn't end pretty at all. He's a dick and always will be.

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  3. I've not had anything like that happen with a teacher or professor, but I did have something similar happen with a friend I stopped speaking to for several years. It has been a revelation how much they have changed and how much respect I have for them now. Another excellent post, I'm glad you wrote and shared it.

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  4. Good for you for taking a stand and all. Not many people are brave enough to do that, which is sad because sometimes the end results surprise you...in the good way =)

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  5. I think it was great and a sure sign of showing respect when you held her accountable for her behavior. When I was younger I hated that but now I've learned to appreciate it takes a lot for someone to tell me when I was out of line. The lesser person won't care enough to do so. So I am glad she both listened and apologized, she sounds pretty wise.

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  6. 'I have a right to demand common courtesy from people I regard as my supposed intellectual superiors, even if they are not necessarily my moral ones."

    I absolutely love this! Fucking love it!

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  7. You taught her that rule and now she will definitely not forget that lesson. That was a good job!

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  8. Well done, it is always a good thing to remind others that they are not superior, just have had different life experiences and paths traveled.

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  9. Respect is a very understated value, but one I think is essential for any kind of relationship. I admire you for having the guts to write that letter, and I admire her for admitting her error.

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  10. hi , i think teacher or professors change after a time of dealing with many numbers of students , sometimes its be bad changing :D , in my college we was have a lot as this situation ,respect and sweet words make anger or any go away , and any way i learned to save copies always coz people moods change ,but hardware don't :D

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  11. I'm completely jealous- I wish I could tell people how I feel when they make me pissed off. D:

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  12. Eh, that must be brutal on you! But atleast you learned something out of it. :)

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