I have a professor who
scares me makes me nervous. She is a funny, smart, insightful woman but I feel like there is a mean streak in her. I get the same feelings from her that I used to get from teachers in elementary and middle school who would call us out on and ridicule us in the middle of class for bad behavior or poor performance on an assignment. Maybe it is just something that gets triggered for me but I was really uncomfortable during some points of class last night. A classmate was singled out for talking in class. (Yes, even in grad school talking while the teacher is talking is frowned upon.) He said he was talking to himself. The professor said something smug like, “Well you’re obviously not talking to yourself since it was out loud.” But she also modified it by saying she does the same thing when she’s walking her dog and sometimes gets strange looks from people. It probably was not as big of a deal to my classmate as it was to me but it kind of made me squirm. I smiled along nervously with the rest of the class with a feeling of relief that it wasn’t me who was being singled out. Later there was another discussion that took place in a smaller group, as we were going over that week’s assignment, that centered around the use of cell phones and when it is and is not appropriate. The professor said we would encounter future clients who would bring electronic devices into session and we would have to deal with it just like she has to deal with us bringing cell phones and iPads and other devices into class and using them. She paused after this, I felt, pointed statement. And I felt ashamed of how my phone buzzed earlier with a text message while the professor had been making announcements at the beginning of class. It is not like I answered the text, which was only a notification that my work schedule had been posted, but whether the statement was aimed at me or someone else I felt uncomfortable and embarrassed. I pretended to ignore the comment however and the moment passed quickly.
I guess this would happen no matter what class I was in…In fact other admonishments in other classes have also caused intense embarrassment for me even if they were extremely brief and not thought of by the the professor 10 seconds later. I guess I have a problem with negative attention of any kind. It makes me feel sick, nervous, and sad. And it often leads me down a path of mental self abuse that is hard to pull out of, especially if the attention is sustained or I feel that it is ongoing.
In any case this professor makes me feel really nervous sometimes, more so than any of the other teachers I have had in a long time.