One of the books I read last year was ‘Pride and Prejudice’, a touted classic (the list is here). My favourite part of the book was a discussion between Elizabeth and one of the sisters of Mr Bingley and later Mr Darcy about discerning one’s motive from their actions.
Prejudice (n.) – a preformed opinion, usually an unfavourable one, based on insufficient knowledge, irrational feelings, or inaccurate stereotypes.
Consider this story.
It is the day of my final exam as an undergraduate student. I finally get to leave this school after all these years. I am not excited. After submitting my answer sheet, I quickly get back to the hall and get the printed and already binded copies of my final year project report in order to submit them to the appointed Project Defence supervisor before the day of defence.
The supervisor also happens to be teaching one of the courses in my final semester. I get to his office and inform him what I am there to submit. He is pleasantly surprised; I am the first person in the whole department to submit them. As he briefly scans the copies, he notices my name and/or my matric number and exclaims – “I have been looking for you!”
I am surprised. I have no idea why he would be looking for me. And if he really wanted to, I would not be hard to find.
He goes on to explain how he was collating the results of a test in the course he was teaching and I scored one of the highest marks, but since he didn’t recognize the name and/or matric number, he thought it was a fluke by some dubious means. He then goes on to say that had I not come to submit the report this early (in relation to others), he would have reduced my mark from say ‘1x/20’ to ‘x/20’. I am not sure if he is joking or being serious, but since himself and the other two students in the room seem to think the statement was funny, I (try to) smile too. He then goes on to make other remarks like “I didn’t know you were a serious student” and something about not recognizing my face.
Having had to retell that story recently, I couldn’t help but think and wonder what his thought process and motives were. I remembered some teachers that considered ‘back-benchers’ in school unserious. I wonder if that is what it was, or its reverse.