I got up this morning with this familiar feeling around the temples. After one full week of getting up early, going to class and studying, I finally got used to the paperwork and the exercise, and this is what I get: a headache in the works.
The usual routine dragged, even with an acetaminophen tablet already in my stomach, waiting to be absorbed. I usually do not take anything stronger than that or I may fall asleep in one of Miss Mitchell’s (the old and very strict teacher) classes and I cannot afford to slack off or else she would give me another batch of her infamous homework.
Oh, the pain! Morphine seemed to look better after every minute passed by slowly. I thought I was made for tougher things. Apparently, every survival tip I learned during my earlier College days I unlearned during the whole course of employment.
Even the studying cheats I learned also lay forgotten. Almost all of the words of my books are covered in yellow marker, so that even I can read them in the dark. Big mistake. Try studying them one day before an exam and I cannot appreciate a single word at all.
Then there is a thesis waiting for me at the end of this semester. The topic loomed over in the horizon like a big fat sunrise, pushing other thoughts away until all I can see is just that. I have to research. I have to study. I have to conduct some sort of experiment. Who said about going back to school again? Argh. I want to go back to bed.
Miss Strict Professor called me up today. She mentioned that although I was not the brightest in the class, that I was the most tardy, that I was the weirdest student (and then my heart sank down little by little upon her assessment). Shoulders slumped each time. When she added…BUT…I was the most passionate about the whole thing. It was as if the room lighted up when she said that to me. That was it and she walked out of the room right away.
Talk about speaking the truth in love!
It was such a nice feeling. It was as if I was walking barefoot in bare sand, with the sun in my face. Being complimented from something I know I still sucked at gave me determination to strive on harder.
I am reminded of the days when my own childhood was all about criticism and nagging. I am sure my parents meant well, but they did not know any other way. All the hammering of negative feedback had gone to my head, but, thank God, they did not stay for long. There was a long period of undoing all of that, however. There was also learning new things, such as the sandwich (compliment, advice, and compliment) approach.
To this day, I still have to practice it consistently at home, at work and at school. It is hard but I am confident that it will pay off someday. Cheers to the professor who actually swallowed her pride to tell me how she appreciated my unique enthusiasm for teaching. Maybe nicer to practice it on my own Sunday School children, too.