I teach a class at Furman University. On Saturday they had a football game against Mercer. I get free tickets so my dad and I decided to go. We sat in a student section, and in order to get everyone going one girl started shouting, “FU 1 time! FU 2 Times! FU 3 Times!!!”
I sat there thinking, “She said FU… that’s hilarious…”
One morning last month, I believe it was the second day of class, I woke up feeling blah. It was right in the middle of scan uncertainty so my thoughts were all over the place. School had just started and I wanted to get there early, so I didn’t take my normal time to meditate.
I got in my car annoyed. I drove across town annoyed. I listened to a podcast annoyed.
I parked my car and sat for a moment. I can’t teach annoyed, I thought to myself. I looked at my phone. It was only 9:30 and class didn’t start until 10, so I decided to sit in front of the theatre and collect myself.
The weather was beautiful. Warm but not stifling. Birds were chirping. The air smelled like freshly cut grass. People were bustling about, and before I knew it, I was feeling way better.
My class starts at 10am, and at about 9:50 my students started arriving.
I greeted them as they walked into the playhouse.
“Oh. I’ll get it by Thanksgiving.”
By the time 10am rolled around I was in a fantastic mood and class went great! So now every Tuesday/Thursday at about 9:50 I park myself outside and greet my students as they walk in the door.
I’ve learned so much about them in those tiny interactions.
One of my students is a Cleveland Indians fan and we start our day bitching about baseball.
One of them had missed class last Thursday. I asked if she was ok and she admitted that she skipped to write a Psychology paper. I faked being offended, and now she’s the resident class therapist. Whenever there is a question about the Psychology of a character I make her break down their mental state.
One of my students is a volleyball player, as she walks up the stairs I get to find out whether we won or lost.
One is some sort of science major. Yesterday I asked her how her labs were going and she spent three minutes excitedly talking to me about the genetic research she was doing on peas.
“I’m sorry I just bombarded you with all that,” she said.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” I replied. “I’m fascinated by things I know nothing about.”
I finished Man’s Search for Meaning last night. One of my big takeaways is that we are responsible for our lives, and that even in our darkest moments, we can find purpose and meaning. Not that waking up and feeling blah is a super dark moment, but it did lead me to do sit outside on that bench before class, and that has turned into one of my favorite moments of the week.
There's a lesson there, right?
FU three times!