Counselors make a difference

Rather than finish up “The Wisdom of This World Pt. 3,” which I will finish next time I am feeling philosophical, have time, and can even begin to articulate what I’m getting at, I’m going to write something else. Oh, and the stuff about wisdom, I think I will take the time to write out actual quotes from the Bible. I know approximately where most of them are that are guiding my thought. Anyway…

Yesterday wasn’t that great. I woke up cranky and tired; the air conditioner stopped working properly; my awesome Casio watch that I’ve had since 2007 broke; I scratched my car parking in my own garage (and I’m not even joking when I say I am normally great at parking); I dealt with jerks at school; and there was a substitute teacher in my calculus class! Also, not pertaining as much to my day, but kind of does, my husband got stuck forever in traffic, and got home after dinner was cold… not normally a big deal, but I had made pesto from scratch for the first time, and I was excited! I’m convinced it would’ve been better had we eaten it when it was ready, not after it had gotten cold and been reheated. Whatever. I should be happy that the pesto actually turned out delicious.

So today has really only begun, but it’s already going better. Better parking and driving experiences, there’s a maintenance request in on the air conditioner, and I’ve mourned my watch. But I also went to an appointment I had with a counselor. I knew it would go well because I’d met this particular counselor before, and he’s just a really nice, helpful, interesting guy (I mean, that’s what I’ve gotten out of spending two hours of my life with him anyway). So I went, and there were far fewer people at school than I’d expected, which is always cool. The counselor, I’ll call him “John” for the sake of anonymity, actually remembered me, despite our last meeting being a year ago! Maybe that’s stupid to some people, but to me it was meaningful. He didn’t remember me because I’m really beautiful or because I have an unforgettable body odor or something. I don’t think my name is even that unusual. But regardless, despite all the students this man has dealt with over this year, he actually remembered me. I wish more teachers and counselors and people in general understood what a positive, if immeasurable, impact is has on others, when you regard them as an individual person — you don’t even have to remember their name — instead of “just another face in the crowd.” To me, it makes a crappy impression when a professor’s introductory statement includes something like, “I’m not even going to try to remember your names.” I mean, I get that they have a lot of students — but is it necessary to make me feel so unimportant right off the bat, just in order to explain why they want your course number written on assignments?

Well, anyway, John helped me write my latest and hopefully, final education plan at this college. He really encouraged me in my field of study. He asked me engaging questions, naturally one of them being why I’m majoring in physics. In so many words, I said I was following my heart. I have a strong interest in physics topics just based on my really, really basic knowledge, and my love of “popular science” books and articles (and, even though I didn’t say this, science fiction, too). Having experience in a natural science himself, John talked to me about different things I could do with the degree, different directions I could go, etc. I guess that should be pretty standard from a counselor, but it’s actually not. It’s actually pretty awesome. We basically ended up kind of chatting about science, which was pretty damn cool, even if I am an ignorant wannabe. We talked about the intersection of astronomy and geophysics, and how incredibly far human understanding and technology has come just in our lifetimes.

Finally, John offered me encouragement about getting into the university of my choice. He said I had a really good shot of getting in where I’m applying. I love encouragement. I understand I shouldn’t need it. But I’m not Spock or Tupac*; I’m an emotional human, and irrational at times. I am definitely affected by the attitudes of people around me. So the cherry on top of my appointment with John was when he asked me to keep in touch and email him when I’m going to school at U— next year. He said he’d probably be retiring soon, etc., but the email address he was giving me he would always have. It’s just so cool to make a real connection, not some, “Let’s exchange LinkedIn contacts or something in case one of us could somehow miraculously get the other one a job someday” type of connection. It’s tiring and usually obvious when people want to “keep in touch” because they’re trying to network like they’ll burn in hell if they don’t.

So anyway, now I’m home. It’s hot. My tendonitis is still keeping me from running, but maybe I’ll go for a bike ride later. Even though I was considering not even applying this fall, I think after my counseling appointment, I’ll work a little more on my university applications after all. Oh, and not to forget all that calculus homework.

 

*I see that I wrote “Tupac,” when I meant “Tuvok.” Just noting it because seriously, was that a joke? Hm, Star Trek Voyager was made in the 90’s, when TUPAC was super famous. I find it pretty suspicious that the black Vulcan gets a name that’s so similar! I’m telling you: that was somebody’s joke. I’m telling you! Ha ha ha!

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