Thursday, November 27, 2014

Condescending People

There is one thing that I hate in adults above all else - especially teachers. It's not superiority. It's not torrid amounts of homework and other expectations. It's not even pompousness (though that is a close second. Self-importance makes me want to spit).

It's condescension.

When you meet an adult, you can tell right away what kind of an adult they are by the way they treat you. If they treat you as an almost-equal, like most normal teachers, who have expectations of you and will not be pitiful if you do not submit your homework on time, then they are respectable adults - at least, they would have your respect.

If they smile a lot and talk to you in a cloying, sweet voice, if they give you super-easy things to do and say "Gooooooood!" when you reach their expectations - they are condescending and I would have just as much respect for them as I would for a spider.

Which is to say - enough to restrain myself from doing what I want to do, but not much.

 If I am treated condescendingly, like a little kid that needs to be humoured, then I will not restrain myself in the slightest in giving them a piece of my mind. Or, at least, I wouldn't restrain myself if I could get away with it and not be assailed by all the respectable adults around me. Which, if you have failed to guess - I can't. Never could.

So why this sudden interest in bashing the condescending adults?

Today for jazz class we had a substitute teacher - a ballet teacher standing in for our jazz teacher. And she was horrible. She made us GALLOP IN A CIRCLE! Like three-year-olds! She did some sort of hip shake for a warm up - and the whole "Look up, look straight ahead, look down. Repeat. Look to the right. Look straight ahead. Look to the left. Repeat" neck exercise. Ridiculous! And then - much too soon - she made us do the splits! With hardly any preparation at all! I didn't even try, knowing I would probably bust something without the proper exercises.

I was steaming with negative thoughts by the end of the class, with unused sarcasm and biting words that social normality would bid me not to use. When I went to sleep, I was still imagining using a bit of the Teenager Attitude that, like a kindergarten teacher, she would defend herself against with more condescension and raised eyebrows and a pouty voice. "Now, now, is that any way to speak to me? What will your mother say when she comes to pick you up? Hmmmm?"


Actually, this brings up something interesting I saw the other day. I was walking down a locker hallway and up a set of stairs when an adult - a hallway supervisor, I think - and two teenage girls came down the hallway. It went a little something like this:

Supervisor: [coming closer] . . . asked you nicely, but you didn't do as I asked! Now, come this way. [leaning towards stairs.]

Girl #1: [heads further down hallway, against Supervisor's wishes.]

Supervisor: [sounding scandalised] Excuse me? Excuse me? [Obviously trying to retain control as the girl walks farther down the hallway] All right, let's go to the office. [Laying on the superiority.] Excuse me, what's your name . . . ?

I wonder if that girl got away, or if the pressure eventually made her stop and face the You'll Be Sorry You Assumed I Was Just A Lowly Hallway Supervisor, I Know Your Superiors! wrath of the hallway supervisor? It would have been worse the more she'd resisted that adult, but if she'd got away, she may have had temporary relief from the authorities - a rare feeling.

I wonder if she'd started running, in the name of getting away with it, or if she'd continued with the restrained walking, in the name of keeping her dignity and her temporary upper hand over the supervisor?

Stick around for Part Two: What I Hate In People. Other behaviours, like being condescending, that make me want to hit something.

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