I don’t get offended easily–or at least, I like to think that I don’t. So, when considering the writing prompt: what’s the most offensive thing you have ever heard anyone say? Not a lot comes to mind. Sure, I could talk about something some political person or sports person or media whatnot said or I could delve into the unjust reasons people aren’t being kind to each other, but there’s enough of that whatnot out there that I don’t want it on my website. So, allow me to share with you a time where I found something that somebody said to me–said to his platform–very offensive.
A few years ago, I took Organic Chemistry and lab as a summer class while pursuing my bachelor’s. Organic Chemistry…really sucks. It’s one of those classes where you think you have it all down, but you take the test and you bombed. Then, you find out that not only you bombed, but the entire class did as well. And, when the class keeps bombing, you know something must be wrong with the way things are being taught. A wise professor would start asking questions to figure out where knowledge is getting lost in translation. My professor? Well, he blamed us, his students.
I remember multiple times throughout the summer my professor would tell us it took someone special to understand OChem. It took grit and it wasn’t for everyone. Only the brave will master OChem. These are all valid points. I mean, we all have our strengths and weaknesses. Everyone has a subject where it’ll take grit for them understand and everyone has their top subjects and their not so top subjects. OChem just happens to a subject that is difficult for more people than most. I gave my professor the benefit of the doubt at the start. Maybe in his own way, he thought he was encouraging us to be that someone special he always talked about. I certainly didn’t want to be that someone special. I just wanted to pass the class. What did annoy me, though, was that my professor started saying things like he’s “awesome because he can do OChem. Only awesome people can do OChem.” He would butter himself up all because he was good at OChem. Look. I get being excited for your subject and confidence in yourself is a must when teaching, but he was getting arrogant and arrogance isn’t flattering. Yet, I was stuck with this professor for the whole summer and I needed to pass the class. So, I did my best to ignore his arrogance and focuse on the knowledge.
Then, a day came when my professor said something that if my roommate hadn’t been there, I would’ve caused an uproar. It was a typical day. My roommate and I sat in the front row like always. The professor had his whiteboard with chemical bonds on it, but before starting lecture, he was going over the quizzes…that everyone failed. Instead of being a wise professor and figuring out what went wrong and helping us understand, we got a lecture from him over how OChem takes special people and hard work and we’ve got to put in the hard work to be “awesome” and “OChem isn’t a subject everyone can do like art.”
I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard my professor say that last line. I even looked at my roommate to confirm that he actually said it and she was giving me a warning look to keep my mouth shut. He seriously said that! He said that art is a subject that everyone can do! And his tone was so downgrading! It was like he was some king spitting upon a peasant! If you’ve explored my website, you know I’m an artist. I share my paintings, pastels, and pencil drawings in my Art Gallery. I even doodled in all class because it helped me pay attention. But for my professor to have the gall to imply that OChem is the superior subject because not everyone can do it and even say that everyone can do art–I’m sorry. Did he paint the Mona Lisa?! He did paint Starry Night?! Has he ever tried to capture the beauty of the sunrise or the pattern of a blue jay’s feathers?! What about the sheen of water? Not everyone can do that! Sure. Art is subjective. Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. You could put a smiley face on a stick and call it art, but not everyone can make a living off of it. Not everyone can make someone feel something when they create art.
I still can’t believe my professor disrespected another school subject like that just because it wasn’t “awesome” like OChem (***Disclaimer*** OChem is not awesome. In my opinion, OChem sucks). I wanted to call out my professor. I wanted to argue and defend artists everywhere. I wanted to walk out of that classroom and never come back. However, my roommate–being the ever dutiful Ravenclaw that she is–kept me in my seat and convinced me to survive the class with my mouth shut so I wouldn’t have to push back my graduation date by taking OChem again. I put up with my teacher for the rest of the summer–though I may have given him quite a few looks that proved my disapproval of him. At the end of the semester, I wrote a strongly worded and rant-like review about his arrogance, accusations, and his disregard for other subjects–specifically art.
Everyone is built different. OChem comes easy for some and it’s difficult for most. Art is easy for some and difficult for some. We all have different talents which is why human beings need to be interdependent on each other. I don’t believe any school subject should be considered greater over another and yet, the world views them that way. People are praised for going into sports, law degrees, or the sciences and yet an artist is just an artist and other smaller subjects don’t get mentioned so a lot of people don’t even realize they exist. Why can’t people be praised and rewarded for doing what they love and making a difference instead of winning a rusty trophy or making the big bucks? The world may never know.
So, my professor downgrading art as a subject is the most offensive thing I’ve ever heard. Compared to most things, I think I have a pretty solid reason to be offended by the things he said. I don’t know where he is now. I don’t even know if he’s still teaching, but I do hope he got a little bit wiser for his own sake.
Now, how about you? What’s the most offensive thing you’ve ever heard?