Wednesday, September 18, 2013
On Being Kind
I'll be honest. Today I am grumpy. Now I know in the world of blogging it's almost socially unacceptable to be down-to-Earth about how you're really feeling sometimes, but that's the beauty of having your own blog...you choose your own words, and those who read it are choosing to read. So, I promise this post has a good moral to it.
I've been struggling since school started to stay organized. I thought that my schedule this semester would be a breeze seeing that I am only taking 12 credits and normally I take 15-17. However, all of my classes are back to back in a big chunk on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and then I work Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays (yes, the church pays me to work on Sunday...come on though, it's the MTC! :) Anyway, I'm a lot busier than I realized and I've really struggled to stay on top of things. I've joked and mentioned before that I have A.D.D., which is true. And I'm so used to it that I'm not embarrassed, secretive, or awkward about it, but it is a real struggle for me. Attention Deficit Disorder. It's a struggle, but I've been working through it. Basically since I was 14 I have had a hard time learning, staying focused, staying organized, and remembering small tasks and getting them done. There are those who "don't believe" in A.D.D. and for them I am happy that they have never had to deal with it enough to know it is real. Anyway, I've been medicated for it since I was 14, and it really helped me during the school hours to stay on task, remember the little details, and get work done. Recently the medication I was taking was starting to give me some health issues and I wanted to learn to battle A.D.D. on my own so I came off of it. This is my first semester of school since I was 14 battling living life with A.D.D. without the help of medication to help me in school.
That all being said, these first few weeks have been really fun extra-curricularly (word?), but it's been a struggle school-wise. This morning I woke up a little late but I was excited to have a good day. I got to my first class literally two minutes late. This class's syllabus and assignment instructions aren't very clear, nor are they worded super well (studying linguistics makes me go by the books on exactly how someone words things, so if wording is ambiguous, it's a problem for me, even if the teacher "thinks it's clear). I asked a question in class about when the next quiz was due (obviously because the syllabus wasn't clear) and the teacher just referred me to the syllabus. Thanks, teacher. Then the teacher was having us get in groups to work on something, and as he walked by I asked him a quick question about our assignment we turned in today because at the beginning of class he made it sound like some of us may have done it wrong (not a huge deal, but I was bugged that I did it exactly how his example showed and that I was maybe wrong). He was very short with me and told me to talk to him later because he was obviously in the middle of doing something and that I should've asked at the beginning of class (my hand was up for this question but he didn't see me...my bad). I mentioned to a girl sitting by me that his response was kind of rude and she starts to tell me how he's the teacher and he has other things to do so he can't just answer my question. Ok, thank you, girl next to me.
So my morning started off by a couple people turning the silliest, simplest comments into unnecessary cold, unfriendly, and snarky comments.
Later I realized that I forgot to do something for my sewing class (do you see my frustrations with A.D.D.) so during my next two classes I'm cutting out patterns, taping things together, etc. when I see that I failed a quiz in my Old English class (look up Old English....it really is another language it's intense!). So my day was just a little rough and I was just feeling bad about myself that I just can't get it all together like other people seem to do. I decided to just email my teacher to get my questions answered that I didn't get answered in class. My email was seriously really nice and even included a smiley face. I just wanted to clarify things so I could do well in his class.
His response, whether intentional or not, was rude. It was cold, and it was unnecessarily snarky and unkind. He mentioned that I was late to class or else he would have loved to answer my question (it was literally 9:02 when I walked in. Class started at 9:00. My bad). He mentioned that he felt like his instructions were pretty clear, but he guessed not. That didn't make me feel very smart. He asked me to elaborate on how I didn't understand what a specific line in the instructions meant. His email made me feel stupid.
I would go more into what he said but it's not worth it, and it will just make me frustrated. I won't lie that it made me tear up when I read his email because it was just unnecessarily unkind. Even though my life isn't that hard and I'm not going through that hard of a time with my A.D.D. struggles this week, if a couple people had just chosen to speak a little kinder, it really would have made my day just a little better. I know that we can choose whether to let things and others' actions and words affect us or not, but the situation just mad me think about the concept of kindness.
Something I've learned from working at the MTC answering phone calls from worried/angry/frustrated/emotional/etc. parents (especially moms) is that you can say the same thing to someone two different ways and you're still giving them the same information, but you can really influence their mood, day, whatever just by how you say it.
I'm not blaming my teacher or that girl in my class on my "rough day", but their words really reminded me about being kind and, if it's not a big deal, how changing the way you say something and going slightly out of your way to be a little kinder can really make someone's day.
So that's my message for today. Be kind to people. You never know what they're going through or how your small compliment, kind help or explanation, or even just simple chat with them will make their day.