This little man who calls himself Marty teachers this class at this place called college. This class is called communication and science disorders and it is filled with girls. Girls who know exactly what they want to do and how they can get there.
Marty stands at the front of the class every Tuesday and Thursday wearing his generic polo shirt and khakis. He is a sixty five year old man who stutters. Who studies stuttering.
Last Thursday, Marty blurted out in the midst of teaching about the laryngeal muscles and the hyoid bones, that as a speech and language pathologist you can fix people.
And I got mad. So mad that my hands balled up in fists and I walked out of this class that was supposed to be my major and I was supposed to be one of those girls who had it all figured out. I guess I don't. I don't think I ever did.
I do not believe that people need fixing. We are not broken.
Marty would get along quite nicely with this man named Al who is supposed to be an adviser and is supposed to help people. Al has a small gold hoop dangling from his left ear, which at the age of fifty implies a mid life crisis. I do not know what Al's dreams were as a kid, but he ended up in this position at this place called college where he has the potential to help people. He chooses not to.
I feel like it is quite ironic that the department of education hosts all these people who perhaps would be interested in changing the world and making a difference and this place called college transforms them into these strangers of themselves, unrecognizable people who feel so utterly broken and as if they need "fixing". I want to scream.
But instead of screaming, I choose the more socially acceptable approach. I whisper softly, so softly that only the girl to my right hears me and looks at me for a long time, "wake up. You are not drowning. There is no one to save." And Marty goes right along with "teaching" and Al goes right along with "advising" and I am left here alone wanting help, unsure how to get it and wishing, wanting, hoping someone can make the decision for me of what to do for the rest of my life.
My friend Daisy would refer to herself as an invalid deeming herself inadequate because it is hard to feel important when the days slip through your fingertips without adding anything worthwhile to your own or to anybody else's life. Attending class does NOT make you feel like a productive member of society. I definitely feel this looming "not good enough".
My goal in life is to let these "broken" people know that they are not in fact broken. That they may think they are broken because they continue to fall short of perfection. But, perfection is unattainable. It will always be unattainable. That does not mean we are not whole, worthwhile people.
Daisy is not broken. I am not broken. We are people who sometimes feel this pain in the left side of our chests and despite all the pain and the heartache, we are adequate, valid people who are good enough. And if we believe it maybe it will come true? Because it is true. We are here for a reason. And if we work together, we CAN change the world.
In this magical place called college you can be done with school work at ten in the morning and get to do whatever your heart desires, or you can study every minute of everyday until your eyes blur and you fall asleep. Its a choice of what kind of life you want to live. Its a choice of what you want to do with your life. Its hard to find that fine line between not caring and caring too much.
I hate school. I have always hated school. Despite this intense unlike of school, I think I want to end up working in a school. I want to try to be that person, that teacher, that mentor to make school suck a little less.
What scares me so much is that a lot of these people give up. These people like Marty and Al who stop caring and stop wanting to change the world and just want to get by at this thing called life. I never want to transform into these people who do not have the time of day for others.
I always want to be there for someone else. I do not want to rush someone out of my office, I want to hear what other have to say. Because I believe that everyone has a story. And every story is worth sharing.
So, I will continue to fight everyone who claims we are broken. Because we are capable human beings who possess the power to change the world. And one day we are going to change the world.