Good,Bad and the Ugly
This instructor of mine is a man of average 34 with blue eyes and about 6 feet tall, a kind of nervous looking guy on the first glance who smiles at you but, there seems to be a timed bomb inside him which can go boom every minute or so. His look makes him both lovely and explosive.
The first day, for a guy like me who had never been behind a steering wheel went quite smoothly with no tension between us.
The second and the third day I had a crush on my instructor. I am not gay don’t get me wrong. I am as straight as a ruler but my feeling really tricked me .I seldom ever feel so close to someone I have met for once or twice but, "he was different." I thought. I just had this feeling that I had found my alter ego, a kind of intimacy that makes you "believe" love at first sight stories.
I thought: "yeh! That’s the "right" instructor I was looking for."
The second day he bought me a drink of non alcoholic type. Anyway, on the third day I learnt a lot because we saw a punctured car near the curb and her driver, who was also an instructor, asked Hamid (my instructor) to change her car’s tire. There was a mini supermarket around and I thought: well," It’s my turn to buy him a drink and I did." On the way to the driving institute, because of the intimacy which had been brought by the closeness and THE drink, he just started talking about his family life and his 5 year old daughter. The drink must have been alcoholic though. After a short time, I got to know that he was divorced for five years and he had to take care of his 5 year old daughter. He was giving me advice on not to have any children because, he wasn’t able to afford a decent life for her daughter as he said so! He also had to work in 2 other driving institutes in order to make his ends met.
I really felt pity about his condition and thought" how many carefree relaxed people can you in the whole world? Every one has his/her own personal problems. I just asked God to help him out of this mess, if mess expresses the right word, of course!
I am a kind of funny guy when it comes to the "right" person. After the third day I still couldn't do a good parking behind the other parked car. (Don’t know the English word!) When he got angry because of my mistakes, he started talking nervously, with his voice raised on me while it was being accompanied with dagger looks at me. His manners doubled my nervousness and the whole concentration was fucked in seconds! We went to a quiet place to practice; there were other instructors with their students there. Hamid parked his car with 30 cm distance from the curb. I went behind the wheel and started the engine, the right light, and clutch, gear fourth and looked back…
Whenever I did something wrong, he went mad and when I told him that your nervousness makes me edgy too he kept quite silent for seconds without instructing me on what to do next. I know I know if you want look at the story from his point of view he says" this teacher is an asshole who donno shit about anything and I have to repeat my self several times so that his brain starts working."
On my first day he didn’t give me any information about the things in the car. I didn’t know that there are two lights in front of you which on is for the left and the other one is for the right. When he asked me why I used the wrong light I told him that I thought in order to move your car from a parking space you should push this gadget to the top."
"Can’t you see these two green lights in front of you? When the arrow shows the left, it’s time to turn left."
"Holy shit, you are giving me this info right now so how do you expect me to know things in advance? You took it for granted that I was born as a driver?"
"Hiss! Don’t say a word!"
There was Hamid’s friend (Ali) whose car was parked in front of our car. Ali started talking to me quietly on how to park my car while Hamid was sitting beside me in the car; I pointed to Ali with my fingers and meant to show my instructor to learn how to speak quietly. I knew my instructor was looking at me invisibly. I knew this already and with this on the back of my mind I smiled and pointed to Ali and said "yeah, that’s it! That’s the right behavior"
Hamid saw me doing this and thought I was making fun of him.
"If there are 2 assholes in the world, I am one them and YOU (and emphasis on you in a belittling manner, yelling) are making fun of me?
"Fuck! I didn’t mean to make fun of you! You are so hypersensitive!"
Fuck it all, fuck! I felt so bad inside. I was humiliated like the way my teachers did when I was a kid. I was on the verge of crying. But I refrained.
His nervousness and his behavior taught me a lot of things. Life is the best instructor .if you don’t learn a lesson that lesson will be repeated so much that you have to pay the prices to learn it finally.
1. Now, I know that I shouldn't have yelled at my students when they had difficulty learning things. I try and promise not to yell at any of them if they had difficulty learning. (Disruptive behavior is an exception!)
2. Don't get too friendly with whoever you THINK might be your alter ego. Do it and face the music too.
3. Last but not least, if you look friendly at first and yell while you are teaching your students, they will definitely take this as one of your Achilles' hill and you aren’t a good teacher after all.
He told me that he doesn’t like teachers because they just come to the class and teach for half an hour and lean on their seats for the rest of the time class. I understood a little about this hidden curriculum which was based on our shitty education. This guy, I imagine had been punished a lot by his teachers and now I think a little part of those inferiority complexes were being erupted by a teacher who is a student now. It's a sad, tragic, understandable story about a lot of students here. I my self hated almost all those teachers of mine in my elementary and secondary school (a few of them were extraordinary.) People normally don’t have a "positive" attitude toward teachers. I shouldn’t have told him about my job .It wasn’t a big deal after all.
I know I should both depend on my intuition and reasons while facing people. I just hope I can get along with him on the following days or I have to change my instructor which might not change things a lot.
On the way home he gave me a piece of religious advice," Look! I know you lost your concentration but if you breathed deeply and asked God to help you, you could have done a better job."
I smiled and said" It is you and your instruction manner that gives me confidence not God!"
Hamid:" I am a tool and God is the ultimate doer!"
Me:" You mean after these sessions God taught me how to "drive" a car?"
Hamid:" Yes, it’s him and me only a tool."
Me:" God should have thought and worked more while making this tool" I said inside me.
He brought the subject of religion up and I couldn't help arguing my beliefs on the subject. At the beginning of the day when my instructions starts he got off his car to say hi to his coworker and friend when I heard him say:" Today isn’t my day and I am fed up."
Fed up with what? I don’t know but, I should have taken that as a sign not to be too funny and friendly. I should have acted my usual business like manner but didn't and there I was.
I somehow "feel" how my instructor feels about things but I can’t agree with him and myself on somethings. I remember terrible times that I had in a class with a rude, disruptive student and that made me feel bad the whole day therefore, when I went to other classes to teach in the next hours I acted like a maniac and punished a student to relieve my own pain. I think it’s a defensive mechanism though it looked pretty violent. When you are unaware as when and where a bomb explodes it's your kismet that becomes your savior Or BANG! BANG, BANG!
If there is a parallel park he doesn’t give me chunk by chunk instruction rather talks_let alone doing it by himself for one or a second time_ for two minutes on the subject and expect a naïve beginner like me know how to do things perfectly, in a miraculous manner.
Unfortunately I always tend to exaggerate things and this story is no exception.Now I know that how a "bad" teacher can destroy a student’s self confidence. I learnt a lot from Hamid. I see him as a mirror who SOMETIMES reflects my own attitudes about teaching and my behavior toward students.
After all these writings I feel better a little.
PS: I went to my instructor an hour ago and things were settled down thoroughly. Now I really feel better!