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2007-03-27 - 12:36 p.m.

...IT'S NOT JUST MEEE!!!.....

There are many people in this world who need to feel different in order to feel special. If you try to share their problem by relating a similar problem of your own, they feel that you belittle their experience.

There are others in the world who need to feel that they are not alone in experiencing a problem. So by sharing a related problem, you provide empathy, reassurance that the problem may not be their fault, and possibly even constructive ways of reaching a solution.

I have fit in one of these two categories at different times of my life, but today I'm definitely NUMBER TWO. YES!

Today I got a heaping load of EMPATHY from a fellow faculty member who ran a discussion in my class. He did a wonderful job with them, actually. Almost all of the students had made at least one comment, even if the comment was, "I don't see the point in reading this paper - it's too abstract to have anything to do with management." He slowly brought them around. But by the end of the class he took me aside and said, "JESUS what's the MATTER with these guys????"

It was brilliant. He asked if I had been dealing with this the whole semester. To which I said, uh YEAH. He said it was LAME and that he wouldn't put up with it. He then complained specifically about two members of my class - the same two I find completely irritating. The first guy falls into the category of the 'silent sourpuss' who sits in the back of class, making faces that convey how much this coursework is wasting his valuable time. The second is a woman who has complained that this course will not take her any step closer to being better at her future job and has made patronizing remarks about our discussions being "too simplistic."

I thought that I was being defensive in my response to these students. But these are the same two students that he singled out as being completely irritating. And he nailed one of them - and was ready to nail the second as well but time was up. "What kind of managers are you guys going to be if you don't understand these issues??"

But he did it with such a good spirit that I don't think that they saw to be offended.

I was thrilled. Just exactly the reinforcement I needed. I told him about the complaint that my global issues class needed to "give more examples from Canada" to which he replied, "and did you tell them to GET REAL??"

So. It is amazing, just how good it feels to receive some small piece of validation, that I haven't been imagining this silent hostility. And so I will go into my LAST WEEK OF CLASS smiling quietly to myself. ha ha ha HA HA!!!!

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