Saturday, September 8, 2012

"BUREAUCRACY"



I know it may seem that my blog has now turned into a journal of my bad experiences with professors, but I have to report this one to you my dear readers, as this one seems to me by far as the most bizarre experience I've had with a professor - maybe so far ;)  yesterday, so to my readers who have been deriving pleasure from my nasty experiences with my professors, get your popcorn! because you're surely gonna enjoy this one. 


I am not gonna be doing my usual summarized narration of what happened, in the interest of saving time and as I've stated before to avoid turning my blog into an exclusive diary of bad experiences with college professors. 

 
So what was this that I experienced that it lead me to eat a whole pizza and call a shopping therapy that was originally scheduled next week? and more importantly made me deleting my Philosophy of Man class for this term- only after the first meeting with the professor- and choosing to take it up next term instead? thus leaving me with only five courses to study this term.


Okay so my professor ( I am not gonna mention his name because I would like to respect his privacy ) for the said class was late for 28 minutes. Our class was from 8 to 11 in the morning. My attitude yesterday was the usual me, and by usual I mean I was in my "first day of class or first time meeting the professor mode" since this was the first time we'll be meeting him. Another usual thing was my great expectation or I was hoping that the professor would be great. And by great I mean tolerant, open, respectful, academically qualified, passionate, non-canonical, non-dogmatic, brilliant, and professional (okay I think we all know a friendly professor wouldn't be so bad). Boy/Girl!! did I end up with the complete opposite of what I've just described as the ideal one. 


He collected our enrollment forms and called us randomly, asking provocative questions, checking if we had a good grasp of the college rules & policies, while he responds with great sarcasm, disbelief, and plain rudeness. 


Anyway, I want to summarize this story. When my turn came, I was asked the meaning of "BUREAUCRACY". I asked him "in what context?" he responded "general". I replied with the political definition - although to be fair my description wasn't very good, maybe because I was nervous, but I did mention red-tape and in what situations one can label something as overly bureaucratic - and the informal meaning. The informal meaning was a task that could have been much more faster but due to uncontrollable processes delays it. The next thing I know, he calls the student in front of me, asking her If she would agree with regards to the validity of my statements. The student in front of me responded "no". 



The said professor manipulated my personal opinion to his own advantage while he boasted how wrong I was and sticking only to the informal side of my answer. I talked without permission to do so and said " Sir, I was talking about the informal one" I have disrupted his slow paced speech on how his professor in college told him what the correct meaning of Bureaucracy was. I kept thinking while he continued -with great pleasure by the way ridiculing that part of my answer, which in some dictionaries actually is correct - how many time has Bureaucracy been used in pretty much every major publication in the planet outside the context of politics?


As an hour passed by so fast -maybe it was due to my nervousness- he talked about his great academic record, work experience, breakthroughs at many things, class rules, beliefs, ideas on what makes a person intelligent, how people should behave, and homework, all while simultaneously continuously bringing up how formal he is and that his standards should never be questioned, his authority, corrections, actions, and decisions  respected at all times - according to him unless you belong to the top ten richest family in this country, then you will have to obey his every word, it didn't matter if he was wrong, inappropriate, or was downright being an elitist. He even shared how great people became persecuted for what they believed, at one point to my surprise, he put himself at par with Albert Einstein and Jesus, firmly believing that I persecuted him (or in his on words criticized, which was beyond far from what really happened). To a reasonable person though it was pretty clear I was the one being persecuted, disrespected, blatantly being stepped on because I was poor, had an opinion, accidentally and unintentionally spoke without raising my hand, and what did I get? a threat. 


So many threats, not just to my future in that subject if I chose to stay -which I originally chose, since he only stated, after the unsolicited correction of mine, that he wanted to talk to me after class ends and send me to the guidance office. I had no idea that by the time passed, as he continued bringing up the "informality" he would become more hostile and that I would be forced to drop his subject because of his scary continuing/unending/escalating by the minute/evolving opinion of his on how I should be disciplined -but also to my other aspects of my life. 


So how did this tragic event end? I walked out the class. I was in the first part of what I was suppose to say when he stopped me and threatened me that I'll be brought to the dean's office if I uttered another word, so as I reached the door, in what seemed as a slow moving time, with the entire class watching, my mouth was sealed shut.


Why did I walk out the class? Because, before I stood up to make my grand and dramatic exit, he told the class "anyone who disrespects me, automatically fails the subject" see now how it went from a simple "talk to me after class" to "I'll make your life miserable", Obviously, what Am I a masochist? I'll let this person abuse me for the whole term which will last until December? and I'll be hindering the learning opportunity of my classmates, because I imagined how he would always be preoccupied with what he viewed as a disrespectful behavior I did to him, which would have led to great amounts of time devoted to my humiliation.


Actually, It wasn't my intention to disrespect him, I was just simply clarifying what I viewed as improper manipulation and disregard for my answer to humiliate me. I didn't expect that he'll feel that way, why would I?


As I was in line in the Registrar to delete his class from my enrollment form, I realized that I had been a victim of abuse, dogmatism from a person I least expected it from (I inferred it from him being a professor of Philosophy-which usually calls for extra openness), elitism, abuse of power, impatience, and intolerance.


The million-dollar question is, or the question that really bothers me, which I hope will go away now since I've already expressed a part of it in here, If I'd known that he would be insulted with my action, will I still have done it? I honestly don't know, though I have a lot of opinions to choose from and pool of choices - each of them different- in my head. Maybe, you my readers, can help me answer that.




Please, Feel free to leave your comments! It will really be appreciated!!!!



Love you all, my readers!!!!

-Paul Ken-