I left your class today with that cotton ball-feeling in my throat and stinging in my eyes. I waited until I was outside the double doors leading from the stairwell when I let the tears begin to tumble down my flushed cheeks. I ran as fast as I could down those steps to make it outside in the sun and fresh air where I could finally breathe again. Now, as I sit and reflect on the pain, the hardest part is that this particular instance isn't the first time I've left your class feeling worthless and embarrassed.
As much as I wish I could walk into your office and let you know every ounce of despair I experienced over the semester, I know it won't get me anywhere. It was made very clear early on that I didn't matter to you so my words will only bounce off the white cinder block walls and land right back on my lap. I will sit there, staring down at my pleading emotions and know that the only person who feels any ounce of desire to fix this is me.
What hurts me the most is knowing that I'm not the first person who's been made to feel this way by you, and I also know that I won't be the last.
Your displays of favoritism are inked deep into your skin in black and white, whether you notice tattoos or not. The rest of us see the mural of your esteemed students while also knowing that our names will soon be forgotten from your mind and remain archived in your former class roster.
Although you choose to forget we exist, we have the scars of your words etched deep into our minds as a constant reminder that we aren't good enough. We've fought against you, yet we're the only ones bruised and with open wounds, begging for change. You remain to sit at the top of your pretty little castle with a practiced chuckle and nonchalant demeanor.
I know that there are other students who have felt the same way as I do, yet I still feel isolated and misunderstood.
It's as if each of us stands on a separate little island, close enough to make out every detail of each other's appearances, but far enough to not see the extent of the pain. The sand we stand on is made of the words you made us feel, some of mine being worthless, insecure, and abashed.
The attribute that may make me stand out from the rest is that although I've fallen down a peg or two on my confidence ladder, I know I will climb even higher when the pain subsides. When my apprehension turns tenacity, I will have grown stronger.
I will acknowledge the times when even though you made me feel completely futile, I still chose to get up in the morning and work that much harder. I became stronger in times you made me feel weak. If it wasn't for the confidence instilled within me by other professors, I'm not sure how I would have made it out of the semester alive.
I just hope that all other students you torment are as strong as I've had to become. I pray they can take your remarks at arms' length and separate their worth from your chosen words, something I didn't quite learn how to do.
You may have hurt me, but I will never be broken. In my life, you will go down as the worst instructor as I've ever had to encounter, but thankfully, I'm done with you forever. I hope at the end of the day, you can feel any sort of acceptance in yourself and maybe someday, when you realize the cruelty you project, you may become a better person.
Until then, goodbye and good riddance.