Walking back from lunch on Friday, I saw a student crying in the hallway and being comforted by another student. I paused because I was concerned, not only because the crying student was one of mine but also because I hate to see anyone upset.
As I was hesitating and both were telling me what was wrong, I couldn’t help but wonder – egotistically – if I was the cause of this student’s distress. My colleague has said that I’m a hard professor, probably the hardest one in the department. I’m okay with that, but there’s no reason why people should start crying over my class! I want to work with my students; I want them to succeed!
I told her that her other class would be fine (the one she was crying over) and I and the other student assured her that this is the first week, after all, and no one should expect her to be perfect.
I left soon after that, leaving the older student to comfort her, as she seemed to be doing a good job anyway, and over the weekend, I realized…Wasn’t this exactly what I had been doing?
I’ve been struggling with trying to be the perfect professor, to not mess up, to juggle, really, two jobs at once – and it’s only my first week! I pretty much missed a deadline this past week AND made an error on a student’s paper. It got so bad, actually, that this weekend my eye twitched probably five to ten times each day for three days. A sign of stress, apparently. Lovely. Could be worse, though, I suppose.
(However, I would like to note that it made me feel better when I learned that the student actually really liked my class and the other class was the sole concern of her worry. Woo hoo! Wait...should I be cheering that?)
As much as I’d like to say it’s genetic (my dad is a World Class Worrier – even has frequent flier miles on Worry 797), it’s not. Well, I’m sure some of it is, but it’s like what my mom says to each of us: “Let God worry about it. I’d rather He worry about it than me, anyway.”
She’s a smart woman, my mom. =)
So I guess this week – Week 2, that is – I need to work on stress-free living. And probably procrastination, too. I procrastinate way too much without deadlines.
Bring on Week 2!!