My Philosophy in Education professor, Arthus Muega, drilled an important point into my and my classmates’ heads early on in the semester. For our first three sessions, he repeatedly asked us: “What is an educated person?”
It seemed like the most simple of questions, prodding many of us to give the simplest of answers. Answers that included words such as “schooled”, “learned”, “skilled”, all of which were deemed lacking by our teacher. Though he never gave us an exact definition, in the end, he offered words like “values” and “morality” that somewhat soften our misses, or at least, gave them a deeper dimension.
When I was a student, I hoped for a few things in my teachers. I hoped for them to be, not just knowledgeable, but passionate about their subject. I hoped for them to be friendly and fair and fun to have around. I guess you could say, I wanted them to be, not perfect, but ‘educated’.
Teachers are human, yes, but I’m not referring to flaws or mistakes that need forgiving. My point revolves around Prof. Muega’s question about educated persons. If your teacher’s actions prove to be consistently vile yet he seems not to care, then his MA or the intelligence he advertises with every opportunity, will always be overshadowed by his deceit and utter disregard for a person’s rights. In the absence of good values and a sense of morality, his actions, then, declare him to be an uneducated individual.
If, by now, you have an inkling that I am referring to a real teacher and not some general profile, you read between the lines well.
Recently, I have come to realize that a certain teacher I have admired for his intelligence and passion is as toxic as many people have avowed. I used to look up to him and so forgave him easily for unkind remarks aimed at me or my friends. I used to defend him from people who would call him two-faced or untrustworthy, retorting that he is, in fact, honest and unafraid to call things as they are. I believed what he said that every one in his former department has edged him out because they were too narrow-minded about brilliant (his word) curriculum changes that he had offered. I applauded him for his recent promotion and wouldn’t agree with others that he had gotten it mostly because of calculated charm and insincere show of support for his superiors.
An incident of late made me realize what a bane he really was, and how easy it was for him to turn against you when you question his “brilliant” methods. Suddenly, I saw him for what he was and realized that everyone around me had been right: he IS narcissistic and two-faced. This teacher is toxic, not only because of the things he’s said and done, but more so because he seems to think he has a right to say and do these things because he is, as he had declared so many times, brilliant.
A friend of mine told me of the time this teacher was wondering out loud, woefully asking why his siblings had all the financial luck in the world when he’s actually the smartest and most talented one among them.
He wondered. . .
I know why.
The answer is spelled K - A - R - M - A.
In fact, after you so unfairly edged me out and caused me to lose my only means of livelihood (of which you were fully aware) this semester, not even a week had passed when blessings started flooding into my life. This happy deluge has brought exciting opportunities, not just to earn back the living you took from me, but also new directions in my career both in Music and Theatre. An overflow of love and support has also strengthened my bond with new friends, and renewed my kinship with old ones. Despite your treachery, I feel so deeply and overwhelmingly loved by the Universe.
Like I said, KARMA.
So thank you, erswhile dearest teacher. Your actions, though vile, have ushered me back to a beloved path. No sarcasm there. Truly, I bear no grudge. I laugh at your continuing malicious actions without malice myself. Though, I may never trust you again, I wish you all the best in your endeavors and pray that Karma teaches you to value the people around you and treat them with respect and kindness.