My Chinese teacher scares the pants off me. She’s very… 凶. That’s not to say I don’t like her–I do! I just also live in terrible fear of the possibility I could miss one of the torrent of assignments I’d have to do to pass the class. Especially when finding out what homework is actually due is a pain. Or what the readings for the pop quiz are going to be (because I kid not, she will not give us a scheduled list).
(Am I overreacting? Maybe I’m overreacting. Somehow I don’t think so, though.)
I wasn’t completely incapacitated going into that class, however. This is mostly in thanks t the teacher herself–she’s very good at communicating her expectations, if nothing else. And that’s what really got me thinking this week.
Moving into a new place, living with people I know not at all, has forced me to adjust my expectations of people. In that situation, specifically not to have many expectations at all. One of my favorite talks (about marriage, incidentally) states that unhappiness in a relationship stems from an unmet expectation. Other than not being super sketchy murderers, I decided not to have a ton of expectations so far as roommates were concerned. And it’s actually turned out great–I’ve been able to set boundaries as we go and nobody’s taken offense to anybody else.
I tried to do much the same thing with my Chinese class, despite the bad reputation ratemyprofessor and word-of-mouth had given the teacher. I just wanted a class I could study Chinese in. Unfortunately, my one requirement will not be met there. As a class more focused on performance and memorization than actual learning, with a teacher who’s nature would try my massive love for the language, I realized I would learn more Chinese on my own than in that class.I don’t want my passion for Chinese to die because of a teacher… and so I dropped it. Our expectations didn’t meet up with one another–and I don’t have to the time to figure it out in the week left before the add drop deadline. So rather than struggle with it the entire year I decided to get rid of it.
The same cannot–should not–be said of relationships. Burning a bridge often takes little to no time, and it’s hard to rebuild. (Hopefully by dropping the class now I saved the bridge and can cross it at a later date–sometime when I’m a bit more mature and she’s opened up a bit). My relationships with people should never fall second to my selfish desires: while me time is good and boundaries are important, people are a necessary part of life. Work with them, find your common ground–build upon each other until you reach a place you can live with. Getting rid of someone in your life can be freeing, but the reasons to cut ties are few and far between, in my opinion. Whenever reasonably possible, it’s better to adjust your expectations of people than stop assiciating with them. If you lose all contact, you lose the opportunity not only to know them, but also to help them (if they need it). Just a thought, I guess.
Thanks for reading,