The first was my biology teacher. We actually had a lot in common, in our views toward the natural world and such. I honestly don't know why he apparently hated me. I had a B+ average through most of his course, yet he had the nerve to check my background to see if I belonged in his class, and what's worse, to then tell me about it. I honestly don't understand what was going through his mind. He once asked me why I didn't hang around the other "intelligent" members of the class. I don't remember what I told him, but I know the answer to his question. I love science, I love the natural world, but I can't abide by snobs, by individuals who perceive themselves as superior to others. In my life I've come to understand that we all have strengths and weaknesses, based upon our genetics, our experiences, and our perceptions to those experiences. I grew very shy, particularly after my brother's accident, and it forced me to mature very quickly. I chose not to associate with the arrogant because I cared too much about people, great and small. That's how I grew up, taking care of the raging invalid who was once my greatest role-model. Maybe I'm naive, thinking more with my heart than my mind at times. I'm learning, but I just can't stop caring for people. Choice or not, it's something I will not do.
The second was my history teacher. She was terribly strict, and only after did I miss a day due to illness did I find out that she flunked me on a paper, for not turning it in on the day I was out sick! I don't know where I found the courage, but I left her class, and began speaking with the principal, superintendent, and others about this behavior in an attempt to override her decision. Eventually, she offered to give me a C on the paper (mind, she refused to actually read it at this point), but I refused. If she could not grade me upon my actual work, I'd rather accept nothing than an assigned grade. For me, it was the principle of the matter. It's not that I wanted a good grade, so much as I felt that her decision in the matter was wrong, and that I found myself fighting to overcome what I perceived as a wrong against others as well as myself. Of course, the higher-ups were not willing to take any kind of stand, and preferred not to get involved. I'd rather they'd have given me a yay or nay, instead of trying to simply dodge the issue. I suppose this is one (of many) reasons I don't respect authority very often. Even where I work now, management lets those unwilling to work get away with it. Are people so afraid of confrontation? It doesn't have to be angry confrontation. When I need to speak with others on difficult issues, I tell them that I need to talk with them, and am quite gentle about it, but I do tell them directly what is bothering me. I think communication is so very important, but unfortunately those in power often are afraid... which is so ironic. Interestingly, I finished this teacher's class with an honors A+, the highest grade possible. I think what it came down to is, although she disagreed with me, she respected that I was willing to go so far to fight for what I felt was right.
The final was my psychology teacher, who was once my favorite teacher. He was one of the few teachers whom I was able to open up to, and trusted with some things going on inside me, and with my past. As solemn as I tended to be (and still am too often...), I admit that I was a bit of a clown in his classroom. Mostly it was all good-natured, as I felt we understood one another, and I actually felt comfortable in his presence and among the class in general; something which generally never occurs with me. I'm usually very shy, or otherwise never know what to say or how to act. I'm sure he got annoyed with the last prank I pulled, playing around with the clock. Yes, I know it was wrong, and I suppose I let peer pressure get to me in that regard. I should have known better, and even now, looking back, I'm surprised I could do such a thing. Of course, he kept me after class for a few minutes to make up for the lost time, heh. It was good, I used the time to talk with him about personal matters. I admit, there was a point where I was in tears. It felt very good, after all those years of holding back, to finally trust someone enough to talk to about these things. The next day, in class, the teacher was strangely acting really nasty. He kept picking on a member of the class, and I didn't understand why. Eventually, I asked him what was wrong. At that point, he stood up in front of the class and asked me how it felt to have one's emotions toyed with. I didn't know how to react. He told me that, what I had told him the previous night was a lie, and he'd talked to other students who told him such. As I was a very closed-off individual, I didn't know who those people could have been; I certainly had never opened up to any of them before. This one hurt the most, someone I trusted so much, doing this to me. I know I goofed around sometimes, but never with emotions. My life as its been, that's simply unthinkable to me.
The last case has occurred in a different form at least once later in my life, with a woman whom I was becoming good friends with. One day, she told me she didn't want to be around me anymore, because she thought I had "sexual feelings" for her, which I did not. Of course, she did not wish to hear my reply. I thought she was a friend, but I was wrong. A friend at least listens, and doesn't take the word of others to be truth without at least going to the source and asking. A friend gives the benefit of the doubt, and forgives.
That's what this journal entry is all about, forgiveness. I realize how stupid I've been, holding back so much anger over the years, over things that are long gone, over things that really don't matter at all in the long run. I'll probably never see any of those teachers again, nor that woman who wronged me, but I do wish to forgive and move on. I honestly don't understand why people have done the things they've done -- and yes, it annoys to no end how people can be so cruel -- but I'm so tired of holding on to that anger, that pain. People will think that they want, make judgments without any real evidence. Best to just let it go. If you give in to their anger, their arrogance, their hate, then you become their prisoner. Let it go, and be free.