Over a long period of about ten years, I had confirmed that I am among the top two percent when it comes to "interesting" people. There are certain basic things that you need to be very confident about ( without sounding like a big show off) and being an interesting person is certainly one of them. I should specify that I mean interesting in all the absolute form and not like a substitute for saying, "This word is a polite way of barfing".
I am also confident about other things without any doubt or fake humility. For example,I know I am fit. I know that I know enough exotic words in English to freak out an average Australian. :)
However, sometimes you come across one little moment in your life that makes you wonder if you have in fact all these days been living an illusion. Not that it really matters for I believe that life is an illusion anyway! Most of my "certain" conclusions are God's "Joke of the Day".
I must confess though that I am not particularly proud of this disillusion.
I went into my stats class one day ( equipped with skillfully "made" up jokes on the probability theory) and began my lecture. Twenty minutes into it ( As I was firing away at sixty words per minute) I saw my student phasing out. I thought it was just one of those paranoid imaginations of mine and went on. Ten minutes later I saw him look down for a while and then jerk up as though he had just realized that he was supposed to do something. Then every five minutes later he would jerk again and it took me about three sets of these kind of jerks to realize that he was trying to ward off sleep. It was an outright insult!
So what if I am talking about mutually exclusive events! Isn't that interesting when I tell you little (sad) stories about blondes and brunettes belonging to two mutually exclusive sets??!!
Every time he tried to fight sleep I remembered how much time and effort I had taken to make this lecture more interesting and it indeed was! At least in my bathroom mirror with toothbrush in one hand!
One hour into it and I became really depressed all of a sudden. I had this massive cloud of sadness looming over me. I asked him to go out and get a coffee. He didn't even let me finish the word coffee. While he was on a break, I found myself googling the words "probability" and "fun" together. The results were too complicated for me to understand and actually figure out what the fun part was. So I decided to stick to my practiced version. It is funny how when you are teaching, time flies and when you are being taught it goes at a pregnant snail's pace. So even before I could finish figuring out what to say next he was back which meant hope in capital letters. So I went on for about thirty minutes more and realized that coffee had no effect on his alertness.
When I finally got out of the room, I could not find my way back to my desk because my eyes were fogged with self-doubt!
Honestly, am I that bad? Is everyone around me fooling me? Am I being used without my knowledge for a reality (?) show?
Although he did say before he left that he was playing video games on play station all night ( which is a legally accepted excuse in universities these days) I still found it hard to accept that someone could be so innocent about sleeping in a one-on-one tuition.
I felt like I had taken an exam and I knew I was going to fail even before the results were out ( I know that feeling very well but I think this feeling was worse) .
I walked around with a long face for two days but I had to pull myself together for my next class. I did. This time I had to teach "History of Life on Earth" and I tried to relate it to everyday life by using this .
We had a laugh but it was still difficult to keep him entertained.
So I have one less illusion to deal with now. I hope God compensates me for this one soon. Maybe by making me realize that I can actually swim three kilometers in an hour! =)