Monday, May 11, 2009

My English Professor Who Makes Me Feel Like A Fool

He has cold blue eyes. He pronounces his opinions decidedly. He sees the weak arguments. He is kind, but a condescending kindness, which lets me know that he is lowering himself to be kind to me. It is amazing to listen to him speak, because his words sour, sore, soar, which makes me want to tell him that I understand, my intellect and spirit understands what he says about humanity. I tried, but his sharp intellect sees nothing reasonable in what I say. He has white hair, a white beard, a long face. When I am not in his presence, I think about his teeth and I think that he has very bad teeth, brown and croaked, crooked, but I do not know. When I see him again, the rest of him makes his teeth unnoticeable. He is impatient with stupidity. He makes me want to utter eloquence, and I am ashamed when I can’t speak a good, reasonable sentence. I want to discover revolutionary ideas about the nature of humanity. Instead, I stumble and discover inadequate thoughts. I discover the ragged holes in my mind. I discover how stupid I am. He makes me want to go back and relearn everything. He makes us laugh, from the horror of what he says, because how he dared to tell us how stupid we were, how stupid other people are. He’s not making fun of others from spite, he recognizes the funny. He makes us laugh out loud the laughter he feels inside, about how poor the English Department is, how beautiful the life sciences building, Once, when a student asked how he was, he answered that there were ants crawling in the drains of his office.

He shares new ideas, shows us the clarity of his mind, because I can see how new pieces of knowledge fits within the vaults of his mind, rich treasure indeed, his mind. How sad that he is not able to stoop, make his opinions more palatable. He is too honest, his standards are so high, how could I like him, when I am raised to be deferential, to hide my thoughts, especially when I think rudely and meanly. It is refreshing and frightening to hear clear thoughts. I cannot look straight into his eyes, because I feel blinded, his intelligence is frightening.

My mind has been raised by women, who teach me demurely, and they cannot tell me about that unemotionally, strict force. I am so used to thinking with my emotions, letting my thoughts pitter patter, shallow, unrestricted. And even then, that’s not right either. Water, falling from a great height, plunges faster and faster, and does that not mean also that the drop hits forcefully?

I have too much romanticism, too much wide-eyed wonder, and so I throw all my hopes together, obsess endlessly, think myself happy because I am so alive and I anticipate so much, that the fall from hope is unbearable. My character is molded by disappointment and I seem to always be losing bits of the future.

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