Warning: This is a word-vomit thought process/rant type of post:
I’ve had some recent events take place that have really opened my eyes to some things and I have decided to note them all down. This is not towards any specific person.
Recently, I’ve been thinking about what it means not just to be young, but to be perceived as young, and what difficulties come with that. The main difficulty, I would say, is the assumed ignorance/stupidity a young person contains. Older people assume that just because someone is younger, be it of 8, 18,28, or even 38 years old (relatively speaking) that said person doesn’t know what he/she is talking about. I still encounter this on a fairly regular basis and it’s not always associated with me. Growing up I was always taught to question everything and one of the most important things that I was taught by my aunt was to call people out on their shit, no matter who they are. At the age of 10 I was empowered to tell my elders “i’m sorry, but you are lying” or “no, you are wrong” if the case were so. I grew up with adults. Being an only child, I always got to hang out with the adults, listen to their conversations, and even engage in them from time to time. I was actually listened to and not just told “You don’t know what you are talking about. You are too young to know anything.” This proved to be something that has shaped the way that I currently interact with my students. I don’t always consider myself their superior. In fact, the only times I do is when I am giving them tests and grades. I respect them, I expect a lot out of them, and I treat them like adults, because ultimately, they will be. I, naturally, expect this respect and when I sometimes don’t get it, I have to really look back at the situation and analyze it in the sense of, well, after all, some of them are only 14 years old. I also like that this level of interaction not only beneficial to me, but also to them. I learn a lot everyday. Everyone, no matter the age has something to teach us and with that I know that I don’t associate age with lack of intelligence or ignorance.
I know that I am young. I know that I look even younger than I am. I know that I do not act like the most mature adult and I wouldn’t want to anyways. But please don’t assume that just because I am half your age, that I know half as much as you. I know I am young, and I know I have a lot ahead of me, but at the same time, I have lived a life that is very different than yours. I have had experiences very different to yours. I have had more responsibilities in my old job than most people do here, let a lone a 23 year old at the time. There are certain things that everyone is good at. I know what I excel at. I know my strengths, weaknesses, and limits. I consider myself a very self aware person. I am 100% capable of teaching you about certain things that you might not know of. I am capable of opening your eyes to different ways of doing things. I am capable of helping you reach a goal you might have in one way or another. What I am not capable of is battling against you. If you do not want to believe in me, even after I have proved myself to others, that it is no longer my problem. I am not capable of indulging your ignorance when it comes to me.
Most people say that the second year of PC is much easier. You find your stride, your projects come to fruition, everything is…calmer in a way. I have found this to be untrue in my case. I have found myself struggling with several aspects. Yes, most of my projects have been very successful, yes I am more at ease within my surroundings, no things are not calmer. I have already hit several road blocks this school year that have proved to be very challenging. These range from grades, relationships with colleagues, gossip, and the what not. I have taken everything in stride and have dealt with everything as well as I have been able to but the time has come when something has finally made me stop and rethink everything I have done in the past two years. This recent series of events has me questioning and doubting myself and my projects more now than when I started. I have come across people that have qualms about me being here or question my methods or downright have an issue with my methods. I guess this didn’t really happen much the first year because these things usually come out after a certain level of comfort is reached by both parties and people assume that they know you well enough to judge you, your methods, your theories, hell, even your way of life.
With all of this negativity, I have developed a tougher skin, kind of. It has definitely made my life and my service that much more difficult but it has also brought me down to earth. In the back of my mind I knew I wouldn’t be able to make everyone happy and please everyone but no matter how much I was aware of this fact, I regreted to actually admit it until you I found myself head on with the issue.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that “haters gonna hate” and even if you may not be satisfied with my performance know that many people are including myself.