This week my psychology class started. For the next eight weeks I will spend roughly four hours in a room learning from a person that likes to talk-a lot. What I didn’t know until the third hour was the questions are 1-rhetorical and 2-meant to get us to the point the teacher wanted to make. This is the complete opposite of education. We have a 50-50 rule. The teacher talks half the time, the student talks half the time. This teacher rule got me in trouble.
The professor asked a question about a culture. I use the word culture as a substitute for the actual culture. You’ll understand the explanation in a moment. What he wanted was the negative stereotypes. What he got was teacher responses: introspective, creative and yada yada. One teacher-student in the class said, “cultured.”
Have you ever been tired to the point of missing the obvious. I was there. He said
with what I now know to be sarcasm, “Like a pearl?”
What happened next I can now laugh about because I’m sharing the story, but at the time left me butt hurt. My esteem of this talkative professor prematurely went up about ten notches. He appealed to the teacher and writer in me. So, the teacher and writer in me
said, “Oh that is a beautiful metaphor.”
I know writers go metaphorical frequently. Apparently psychology professors are far more literal than I would have ever thought. He went psychology professor on me and said,”Are you saying they are white?” This really confused me. Didn’t the man know that pearls come in various colors?
Still in writer mode I said, “No, I thought you meant the hardships they experienced made
the culture beautiful. Like a pearl.”
His opinion of the culture came out. “There is a lot of things about them that are not
beautiful” Now he’s kinda mad because the agenda behind his question had been revealed.
Now the light bulb went on and I realized this man was not asking questions because he cared
about our answers. And, I had been answering them all night. He was probably really annoyed with me. Oops.
Still in writer mode I said, “The metaphor was not a statement of the good or bad of the culture. It was an explanation on how the hardships or irritations in life can make us into something valuable.” Sadly, my esteem of him then dropped 20 notches.
My silence for the next hour was my punctuation mark. I think I could hear all the other people in the class thinking, “Thank you God!”
My friends know what I was thinking for that last hour: a heartfelt laugh and the statement,
“this could become some good writing material.”
Yes, I got a blog out of the moment, but there is more to this story. That conversation prompted
an idea for a chapter for my next book. I don’t want to go into detail, but my angry retort is the theme of the chapter. So even though I may not like it, I know this professor and this class will grow my writing. Now if I can remember to be quiet, it’ll be all good.