Classes #FridayReflections

It’s still Thursday in my part of the world, but the #FridayReflections linky has already opened. This week, one of the prompts asks us to decide which class from school or college we’d like to take again if we could.

There were many subjects in high school that I liked. I was big on politics at the time and had a particularly clueless social studies teacher. He once made three big factual mistakes in a five-minute lecture on the elections. In my memory, I corrected him. I couldn’t do that now, as I barely know who’s on the government now. So maybe I’d do social studies again, but hopefully with a more knowledgeable teacher.

I would also love to go back to English class with Mr. E, who had worked a year in the United States while an American teacher came to our school in the Netherlands. This was when I was in eighth grade and could barely understand the American teacher. I wasn’t particularly good at English in seventh and eighth grade. In ninth grade, I was angry with Mr. E for telling me he had to specially type his tests for me instead of handwriting them so I’d better study for them. You can bet that as a fifteen-year-old adolescent, I didn’t bother. From tenth grade on, I loved English though. I had become an avid Internet user over the summer break and had discovered that most valuable information I wanted to read was in English. I became quite proficient at it as I started an online diary (which later morphed into a blog) in the fall of 2002. I loved Mr. E’s stories of his time in the United States, so maybe I’d take his class again.

The first class that came to mind though when I read this prompt, was not a high school class. It was my college psychology class. The teacher was thought of as boring by most students. Because his class was at the end of the day, many students would rather catch an earlier train home than go to his class. You see, we were part-time students, taking our classes on Mondays in the afternoon and evening, and this professor’s class took place from 7:30 till 9:00 PM. Many students, including myself, also didn’t live in the college city, hence the need to take the train home.

This professor though was one rookie lefty and I seemed to be the only one who liked this. He threw Socialist Party merchandise into the auditorium in the days leading up to the 2006 parliamentary election. I was a Socialist Party member, so I didn’t sign the complaint he got for this. Not that I would have signed it had he shown a conservative affiliation either. I did sign a complaint about the first test we got in this class. I still don’t remember why I signed it, but most likely it was largely due to peer pressure. This was obviously before results were in, but I ended up scoring a B.

Looking back, I would’ve loved to attend all of his lectures rather than catching an early train. He had a great sense of humor. Just this morning, I recalled the tale he told us about getting a referral to a psychiatrist for wondering whether the fact that he acquired a spinal cord injury early in life and had to be in rehabilitation a lot changed his personality. The psychiatrist barely listened before writing him a script for an antidepressant. I remembered this tale because, after yesterday’s post, I was wondering what my motor difficulties could be diagnosed as, if anything. If I ever ask my GP to refer me for diagnosis for this, I hope I won’t run into a physiatrist or neurologist with the same attitude as this professor’s shrink.

I got an A for the second test in this class and a B for my research project. I would love to do the research project again, but would choose a different topic. I had many topics in mind that were disorders I later ended up being diagnosed with, like borderline personality disorder, dissociative identity disorder and autsm. I finally settled on the subject of mild intellectual disability though. Maybe I’ll do a similar project one day on one of the topics I had in mind then.

Living my Imperfect Life

8 thoughts on “Classes #FridayReflections

  1. If I could go back, I’d take art instead of choosing boring subjects just to avoid the language class. I really hated language but I regret not doing art, I should have chosen what I was interested in rather than hiding from the ones I hated.

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    1. I agree re the psychiatrist. Of course, it’s a bit naive for a psychology professor to expect a shrink to be able to answer the literal question, ie. whether his disability changed his personality. That’d require hypothetically looking back at a non-disabled him, who simply didn’t exist anymore. However, it may well have been that he needed help processing the late effects of his disability. Even if he were truly depressed, antidepressants are not the first-line treatment for that if depression is not severe.

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  2. I would think that a spinal cord injury early in life might change your entire outlook. I know a person (actually, I know his mother better) who became a paraplegic from a car accident when he was still a teenager. Once the gratefulness for still being alive (many people don’t survive the type of injury he had) passed, he came a bitter young man.

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    1. Well I didn’t know that professor outside of class, but I believe he had a much more positive outlook on life than I did. He was only three I believe when he became disabled, so it was mostly his years away from his parents in rehabilitation centers that he thought could’ve affected him. Quite honestly, I know that disabled people don’t live to be inspiring, but I admired this man.

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  3. Sounds like an interesting class and more so, an interesting teacher. I always believe it’s the teachers that make the class. I hope if you get referred for motor problems, it’s to someone with a bit of empathy at least! Sadly, some doctors are so quick to prescribe meds

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