I have now been un-depressed for over three months and the way to become un-depressed is to resist oppression. I am not entirely there yet: it took all Sunday to submit an article and all of today to work on my vita, a project with which I am still not finished; these were in fact easy tasks and would have taken much less time if I did not transfer so much onto them. But still, I am un-depressed.
One form of oppression, that one can slough off as simply wearing but which is nonetheless oppression, is explaining kindly and diplomatically to the general public that what one says professionally is not just a personal opinion, but is based on professional expertise. I do this a lot and today, I ended up doing it with or for a friend who is even an educator.
I did it without throwing in his face that he homeschools and adjuncts for a for-profit, or lacks a Ph.D. in any field. What I had to hear was that the professor does not necessarily know more about their field than the parents of the students. But I do not think anyone who would say such things is actually for the students.
Then tonight I ran into a student from years ago, whom I nearly failed. She said she had “done well” in earlier classes because other students wrote scripts for skits that she could memorize, and she figured out how to pass the tests. In my class she was suddenly expected to actually work with the material, and that was what got her.
I keep getting this reaction of surprise: oh, you actually want us to speak, you actually want us to be able to write something of our own, you actually want us to read something, not just guess what the topic must be by extrapolating from a few words we recognize.
I say: if these things are not the point, what is the point? I really want to know (although I know the answer is, the goal is to pass without learning much). But I am actually considered by many to be a “poor teacher” because I challenge the students to learn things. A “good teacher” finds a way to get them through without actually learning; that is called “facilitating learning” … but learning what, beyond strategies for passing classes?
I have been depressed all this time because of the double-talk and the meaninglessness, and because “time management” and “picking battles” when exaggerated or when those concepts do not speak to the problem at hand, turn everything to pointless drudgery.
To become un-depressed one is supposed to say that one has a problem and should change oneself, but I have only found that to compound the situation. To become un-depressed, one must resist oppression and abuse, and have confidence, and be an autonomous being even though that may seem threatening or intimidating to others.