The first time we had class for our Statutory Construction subject, I was so nervous.
My heart was beating so fast because of anxiety and add the fact that I ran all the way from the library located at the 2nd floor up to the 4th floor of the next building because I fell asleep in the library (I fall asleep so much faster in libraries than on my bed, which is kinda sad) and woke up around 5 minutes before the time.
He didn’t show up for the first few weeks, so it was really our first time to meet him that day and I didn’t want to leave a bad impression of being late so I had to run. He also had a reputation of being hard to please. Lo and behold I arrived on time.
When he entered the room i thought my heart would burst out of my chest from beating so fast. He laid out his classroom rules, out of which I can only remember two: clean desk policy and dress like a lawyer.
It seems so unfair, the clean desk policy when you look at it for the first time. But when we started our recitation and our classmate was not able to answer, he repeated his question (“O, same question!” and said question became both a blessing and curse in my life) to another student. Then I realized that what he did would be unfair for the student he first asked if it wasn’t a clean desk policy because the other students have a chance to answer correctly by looking at their notes.
I couldn’t understand why some of our classmates didn’t like him at all. He seems so nice, though he has this unique pitch and intonation when he talks, especially when he’s feeling moody or annoyed.
He’s kinda scary at first, but he’s such a nice person that other people don’t realize it right away.
I was already called twice for recitation, so I didn’t study much for our third session when I had a recitation in another subject to prepare for and I though I was already safe because of the “off deck” concept (you don’t have to recite if you already recited previously until the others get called). He entered the room, students got nervous as usual, he called out the names for attendance and then he started asking questions. He also started to get annoyed because almost none of us could answer his question. When he asked one of our classmates and she couldn’t answer, she wouldn’t answer and all she could do was shake her head, while in my mind I was thinking and praying: “Oh God, please don’t let me be like that. God please help me answer, please.” My name was called (I’m starting to hate my last name) and for the first time in forever I was forced to speak out my thoughts even if I was unsure, even if I didn’t totally know the topic, even if I’m usually the type of person who is all or nothing. Our professor looked like he understood my logic and what I was saying, so all was well surprisingly.
I appreciate his teaching method for it taught me how to speak out my thoughts when I became so selfish and shy with what I think because people rarely understand. People rarely do and I don’t believe that all people deserves to hear what I think of things. Most of all, I appreciate the fact that I was able to gain, even if it’s just a little, some of my confidence that I lost way back then. When I was able to answer his question, I felt so happy. This may seem too shallow, but for a person who lost so much, gaining something is a big deal no matter how simple it is.
Afterwards things started to get out of hand, I would get called for recitation so often that it became a running joke that I am always called (which is almost true) and it feels that something is wrong when I don’t get called.
I started to feel crazy and pressured. I hated that my other classmates would look at me and think that I’m so smart when I feel and know that I haven’t even studied my hardest yet. I hated that every time they look at me, I feel that they expect something great. I felt so stressed that my professor would expect something from me every time I recite. I did something bad and ungrateful when I sabotaged myself. I didn’t study even though I knew I would be called. I didn’t memorize and just stared blankly at the notes, I was trying to prove something so pointless, something so stupid. I wanted to get over it, that’s what I thought. I wanted to get over the feeling of receiving a very bad recit. He called me and I wasn’t able to answer properly, I was asked to sit down after a few moments which in hindsight is kind of a blessing because he didn’t let me embarrass myself further. I felt so awful back then.
Out of all the professors that I have for this semester, he is the one whom I loathe to disappoint the most and yet I did. I realized that what I did was wrong and unfair. Of course he would expect something from me, he expects things from his students, whether good or bad and if he’s going to expect something then might as well let him expect something good. I felt so bad that day but I promised I’d redeem myself and do my best.
I somehow did, though with a help of a very very very bad corny joke and a weird laugh (“Uhm, sir. Retroactive statues are. . . haha. . . statutes that are applied retroactively”). He was like “-_-“, well not exactly since he just raised his eyebrows and made a curious expression but he kind of smiled and the whole class laughed. I felt happy just knowing that my joke made him smile a little or at least it didn’t make him angry.
So what’s the point of this? Nothing I tell you. Hahahaha. Just kidding.
I really admire his professionalism and his wisdom. He is a really kind person who doesn’t ask anything unreasonable. He makes sense.
I am very thankful that he taught us for this semester. I am thankful for all his questions and challenges, for subtly teaching us the basics of surviving in law school, for all his sarcastic and witty remarks, for all of his smiles and restrained laughter, for his unending patience and effort in attending our class, for his mere presence and his words of wisdom which inspired us at the end. I am very thankful that he was able to show us that if we just try, we could do everything and if we try our best we can achieve anything.
I didn’t write this in my letter to you sir because I didn’t know how to express all of these without sounding cheesy and dramatic but know that I wrote this with sincerity and honesty. In fact, I don’t even think that this entry is enough to show what I truly feel and what I truly learned.
Thank you so much for everything. The phrase “for everything” is construed liberally in your favor.
Your First Fan Girl