Monday, December 10, 2012

If you don't have a mental illness, fuck off.

The title says it all.

But furthermore, let me explain myself.

I love my job. Most days, I laugh until I cry, I smile, I have breakthroughs, I see that unmistakeable look of understanding on my student's faces and I love it. That's hands down my favourite part of teaching.

But sometimes, I get so fucking annoyed I want to explode. I manage to control it in the classroom, but (god forbid) I tend to vent about it on places like Facebook and Ravelry. Then I get these comments either saying "You're always upset with a student" or trying to tell me how to handle whatever situation I am in.

People, I know how to teach. I've been taught by the best professors and supervising teachers out there. I picked up a few things. I wouldn't have a job if I sucked at it. I come pretty highly recommended.

As for the first issue, I wish you knew what it was like, even for a moment, to have high anxiety. To think that every little problem that arises is going to result in ridiculous amounts of stress later. I can't not stress about it now.

I've tried everything, but I've always been this way. Some people would say that I have trouble moving on and hold on to the past. Maybe that's true. But when something stressful happens, I can't help but get physically ill, to shake, to cry, and in some extreme cases during panic attacks, scratch at myself, pull at my hair, and think the worst thoughts possible.

I tried explaining bipolar and anxiety to my sister once. She successfully avoided the gene passed down from our parents. My mother and I have pretty much the same levels of brain abnormalities. I once told Tristan that being depressed like we were was like living in a constant state of despair and wishing that we were dead. Andy has high anxiety too, and was asked by a co-worker what it felt like. I think he said something to the effect that your brain just stops working and starts doing whatever it wants to. And what it wants to do is worry about every tiny little thing, mostly things you cannot control.

That brings be back to today/last night. A student is trying to bully me into giving them a higher grade by accepting work that they turned in VERY LATE. Even though my syllabus says that I do not accept late work, they are still emailing me constantly and attempting to make me feel bad for having standards. Many teachers would gloss over this knowing they were treating the student fairly and like any other student, so no problem, right? Not so much. I invite trouble. I don't know what it is about how I teach, but every semester, I have had a grade appeal. And that would be fine, but the way, in my experience, the grade appeals are treated are unfair to the instructor and disregard hard and fast rules set forth in the already approved syllabus. This causes more stress for me. I have to do work during my vacation (boo hoo right?), and every grade appeal goes to the student. If I had proper support from my department, and they followed their own rules, it wouldn't be an issue. Then there is the issue of reputation. Every grade appeal, big or little, lowers my reputation and in my brain, my chances of keeping my job.

This is what goes through my mind when a seemingly tiny problem arises with a student. I complain about it because, goddammit, I'm fucking entitled to. If you don't have anxiety or depression or any other near-debilitating mental illness, keep your mouth shut. You have nothing to say to me on the subject.

No comments:

Post a Comment