My econ professor interrupted my shower this morning.

Posted: 12/28/2012 in Uncategorized

I think of weird shit in the shower.

Anyone else do that?

One minute I’m not really thinking much of anything – just all vacant-brained, Irish Spring-scented showery goodness – and then quietly, without even knowing I’m doing it, I’ll wander off somewhere into a part of the brain I haven’t visited in awhile.

Or I’ll get all INSPIRED! ABOUT! SOMETHING! thinking “HEY! That’s a GREAT IDEA!’. Except that pen & paper is hard to come by in the shower and I usually forget whatever it was by the time I reach for the moisturizer. What was I thinking? Oh well.

This morning I quietly drifted off and when I came to consciousness again, my Econ professor was in the shower with me. Okay – not literally, but he was in my thoughts. Which, if you saw him, you would know – he is NOT a pleasant shower thought. Nevertheless, he comes to mind when I need to be reminded of something specific.


When I first walked into Prof. O’N’s class circa 2004, I was doing really well in my studies. I’d heard he was hard, but I was pretty confident I could meet the challenge. Then class started and I realized by ‘hard’, my friends meant ‘asshole’. Prof. O’N was a huge asshole. And he was hard.

You see, we went through this thing where he would ask a question – call on me – and I would answer it in colloquial terms. He would say ‘no’ and call on the next person – who would say almost the exact same thing that I just said.  I would look at him incredulously and say ‘that’s what I just said’ and he would respond with ‘no, you didn’t’.  My type-A-ness developed a quick loathing for him, convinced I was right. This dance we were doing went on for about 2-3 weeks of a 10-week class. It was pissing me off!!!!! STRESSING ME OUT as I really wanted to do well, but couldn’t get a grip on what he wanted from me. What was I doing wrong?

Then finally, one day I was doing my homework for his class, and I pushed my books aside, closed my eyes, took a deep breath and asked the question of myself again – what was I doing wrong? I committed myself to taking a good look at the dynamics in play in the classroom. I replayed the Q&A’s we’d gone through and a lightbulb went off. The second person answering was using the specific terms to answer his question, while I was giving the definition of the term in my answer. I was being colloquial when he wanted formal. Zing! And then I thougth to myself – WHAT AN ASSHOLE! – just a little longer.

At least now I recognized why he was negating my answers. But I still needed a better grasp on the ‘why’ of it so that I could stop viewing him as such a jerk. The man really knew his stuff and I needed him on my side – especially since I knew I had more classes with him in my future.  Why was he being a jerk? And then another lightbulb went off – he was being hard on me to keep me from sounding stupid when I talked to my superiors. Using the right terminology was more professional. It would help me be respected and get better jobs. He was pushing me hard as a favor to my future. Wow, I am such an asshole! to not see that.

Once I got that turned around in my head – that he was making me better, not just being a jerk, he & I started to get along much better. My answers got better. I did well in that class as well as the next one, and eventually, he offered to write me a recommendation letter if I decided to go into a Ph.D. program. We parted ways happily ever after.

Perspective. Sometimes, if something isn’t working for you, you just need to sit down and figure out how to think about it. Change your thoughts.

Not real sure why my brain brought that to the forefront today. Except that I’m in a bit of a negative mental space after jacking up my back at the gym. One of those moments where you’re lifting and actually feel tissue give way. OWWWWW! That happened Wednesday and I can see a few more days of taking it easy in my future.  It’s one thing to choose not to go to the gym, but it’s another to feel like you can’t/shouldn’t/ wouldn’t be a good idea.  And then your whole midsection starts to feel like jello even though it’s no different than it was the day before.

Perspective, silver-lining seeking, is telling me that I have a 4-day weekend ahead to get some reading done for Yoga Teacher Training. Prop my feet up. Let the back heal well. Organize my thoughts. This will be a good opportunity to be well prepared for class starting next week – with all that extra time not spent running or bootcamping. But the part of my back that is grumping and giving me a 2-day headache just wants to keep on grumping.

Perspective. Need to find it.




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