Tuesday, February 25, 2003

a great many things one learns about oneself.i've always thought that something was inherently wrong with me, when dealing with other people. i've always been more self-critical than critical of others. what that means on the deeper level, im not sure. does it mean that im insecure? maybe so. in some aspects i still have a lot of self-doubt. like, i think i always sell myself short. i doubt my own abilities at...say, school work. or how others might view me even. until the events of the past weekend, i hadn't thought that...hey, others are much more screwed up, and how badly they treat me isn't necessarily a reflection of who i am.

the teacher. for this story to make sense, i first have to talk about the teacher. well, let's just call him that. i am seldom genuinely impressed by other people. but teacher has. he's easily the best professor i've met. he's generous as an educator and would really inspire a student to study more about the subject. for someone so smart, you can imagine my surprise when upon discovering that underneath the...veneer (?) of intelligence and uniqueness, theres a generous amount of shallow, petty-mindedness.

events in puerto galera. granted, i am quite sensitive. once i cry, and i havent in a long time, its quite difficult to stop. in the middle of the sobs and hiccups, mostly, when i am crying, im extremely upset at myself for what i see to be a major weakness of mine. but anyway, what i hate most is for people to make assumptions about me that are baseless. how can you assume a person to be like this or that without knowing anything about them?!? well, teacher has made such assumptions. he assumed, that since i seem to be the only one in his class who can actually make sense of what he teaches, and am not shy to actively participate, that i am a genius of some sort. faaaarr from it. i know im not stupid, but a genius i am not.

so, teacher thinks im a recluse nerd of some sort. he has in the past alluded to my being "laid back" for not having a job like the rest of them mortals. what i resented the most, was the implication that i was lazy, owing to the fact that my parents had money. now i dont know if that was really what he meant, or he was just being his sarcastic, british self. who knows? but, back to the story, i literally fought not to cry, after the attack that was made on my person. but i couldn't hold it. i never have. so, i excused myself from the table, and went to the washroom to cry. over and over in my head, the words "this was a mistake, you shouldn't have come" kept repeating over and over. it took a long time for me to compose myself, i stayed in there for 10-15 minutes i think.

i know my limits. if we hadn't been 4 hours away by boat and car from manila, i would've left by myself. but what teacher said to me wasn't what made me lose respect for him, this professor that i so admired. it was what he said and did afterward, and the rest of the trip. tell me, if you were considered someone a friend, would you talk behind her back? criticize her when she's not around? make disparaging remarks about her character? what kind of friend does that make you? well....teacher did those things behind his supposed friend's back. lets call her sappho.

maybe, teacher was jealous because sappho had her girlfriend with her, and theirs being a new relationship, they often went on their own, wanting some alone time. maybe, teacher isnt used to not being the center of attention. so, he and his other friend, lets call her christine kept harping on about the "issue" of sappho and her girlfriend wanting alone time together.

trust. i don't find it easy to make friends. maybe because i dont trust people easily. in a way, i took a risk going to this trip. because as i said, i didn't know these people well. but i was expecting....i dont know, that we had enough common ground to have something meaningful to talk about. i wasn't expecting deep, soul and mind searching conversation, but i wasn't expecting non-stimulating childish banter either. definitely no baby talk...but there was plenty of that. baby talk from a woman in her mid-twenties and a man past forty. the last time someone made parinig to me was when i was in gradeschool. parinig meaning...well, somebody saying something rude and hurtful about you within earshot. an indirect insult if you will. the last person i had expected to hear it from was a highly intelligent, 'free-spirited' university professor.

...this story is like whats happening to us...a strange girl with even stranger problems. in quite the most disdainful voice i now believe my first impression about him. no straight man could possibly deliver so much acid, so much...disdain (the only word i can think of right now that fully describes what he said) in a few words. which he repeated twice in case i hadn't heard.

i was sorely tempted to talk back. to respond, but i restrained myself. as it was, i was a newcomer in the group. if had said something, it would've ruined everyone else's fun. but after that event, i and everyone else, pretended nothing happened. but nothing teacher could ever do or say would regain the respect so few have managed to gain from me.

lessons learned?!? so, nobody is perfect. everyone has issues. including mature people you would otherwise think was above reproach. but yes, highly educated, extremely intelligent and gifted professors have their weaknesses. they can be rude and sarcastic and incredibly petty also. but who knew? i thought i'd met someone worthy of being admired, someone whose intellect shone equally bright as his generosity. but yes, appearances fool.

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