Of Teaching

365 Days Of Teaching

I remember I came to see you that day because I needed advice, Prof. I wasn’t my usual and frenzied “I’m-about-to-lose-my-shit” kind of worried. It was bigger than that. I was more of a “I-don’t-know-how-to-admit-I-fucked-up” kind of worried.

But in typical me fashion, instead of speaking up, I pretended I was fine.

“Eventually, things will fall into place,” I told you. I remember you agreed and that made me feel better.

Except that they don’t, do they? Things don’t fall into place unless you make them. So that day, you purposely made me believe I was right when I know now, I wasn’t.

Why did you do that?

I wonder what would happen if we could have that day back; if we could live it all over again. I don’t think you would miss the chance to tell me I am wrong a second time around. In fact, I think you would go all out.

First, you would tell me that choosing to go right when I could’ve gone left, matters, so I must choose wisely. That even if I was told there are no rules to this thing — to this life — there is such a thing as a black and white, a right and wrong and a good and bad.

That where I decide to draw the line, is up to me. You would warn me about the unconceivable things I will eventually do and how I will be surprised at the amount of times I will be willing to move that line a little further for my own convenience.

You would say the grey area is nothing more than ambiguity and uncertainty and to stop romanticizing it for fucks sake! You would say it just like that Prof., I know it.

You would tell me to stop acting like defining moments are a myth, because they’re not. They are a reality.  They all count for something and somewhere along the line, they will become a sum. They will add up to me — the sum of me — and I will become an accumulation of defining moments that make me who I am.

You would say, there’s nothing random about it either. Because nothing will ever lead me to where I’m meant to be. You’re not meant to be anywhere, you would tell me. You’ll only be led to do what you worked for and be who you fought to be.

And if you won’t like it, don’t you dare blame anyone but yourself. It was your own doing. Own up to it! (Maybe for this part, you would even raise your voice.)

Then, you would stand up from your chair, ruffle some manila folders around and say:

Do you know who you are, Kid? Take a step back, think. What is your black? What is your white? And where does your grey start?

Most importantly, do you know how you got here?

Count, Kid, count!  Count those right and left turns under your belt, add them and tell me exactly how you got here — how you made you, you.

Finally, you would sit back down, start flicking your pen and ask:

Did you fall in a place or did you fall into place? There’s a difference, Kid.

Inspired by Professor Soto.

You will be missed, your words of wisdom will be passed along.  

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