Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Forgive Me, Teachers, I just Can’t Say I Love You




For the 16 years since I started until I left school, I was never a school lover. Even I myself cannot count how many rude words I have said or written about teachers. “Cúc the bitch”, “An the monster”, “Piggy Nga”, they are just a few among scores of curses I put on my teachers since my 1st grade. Some were said behind their back, some were written right on paper so that they could easily find it. Ironically enough, my parents were teachers.


When I was small, it was a bit hard for me to explain the hatred for teachers. Perhaps the hatred originated from scare. I was scared of teachers from the moment I entered school onwards.  I tried not to be punished by them. However, during school life, one can hardly avoid being punished once or twice, and I was not alone in being punished. But the matter was that I took it so seriously. Imagine you, as a child of 8 or 9, was hit in the face by a chalk that your teacher threw at you. She also threw you an angry look, saying, “watch your attitudes!” because you were busy joking with friends then, and they were smiling happily. How ashamed I was, feeling I was turned into a fool in friends' eyes. So I began to feel resentment towards the teacher. Things went worse quickly when she found my swear against her written very carefully on the back cover of my notebook, saying, "Cúc the bitch, you will have to eat… (some dirty things, much dirtier than shit)". I was only in the 3rd grade then.


When I grew olders, things changed in a more negative way, in the sense that I hated teachers more with better reasons why I did. Cowards, that’s what I think of them. During 16 years at school, I never had the pleasure to receive any good thing from them, just rubbish things that can turn any feeble minds into obscure ones.


I remember how my maths teacher hated a boy in the class because he was a busy with his part-time job as a model rathan than with his homework. The teacher would always shout at the poor boy’s face, “Get out! Get out of class! Sure you fool will be good at nothing. Just be servant! Just be slave! Get out!” Teacher, why can’t you accept someone that gets out of the orbit you try to impose on them? Why can’t you accept someone different? What if he prefers being a model than being a good student of yours? What if he has other strong points than mathematics?


I disagreed with that man-teacher. But at least he was true enough to himself to express his antipathy. More contemptible was my former teacher at high school. I couldn’t help feeling sick hearing her preach, “You girls, be nice. Do not talk much. Do not sitting by the window, looking down at people passing by. Boys can do so, because they are would-be men. But you girls can’t.”  I looked at her face, wondering if there was any grain of truth in her voice and attitudes. Nothing mattered if the words came from her heart. But it mattered because all that she said was a sham. Is there any woman who really thinks she can’t sit by the window because she is a woman?


Next post: More on this subject.