I Believe in Respect

Ashley - Salt Lake City, Utah
Entered on April 23, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: respect
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Respect is important to me. College life has forced me to learn new skills in order to survive and be respected. Growing up in a small town, going to a school where all your classmates are your friends and all of your teachers are your neighbors leads to quiet an easy life. Once you prove yourself in kindergarten, you are pretty well set for life. So growing up not having to worry about having to gain someone’s respect because they already know you, your parents, any siblings you have and what kind of person you are makes for a shock when you hit the real world.

The first taste of my new shock came on the day I started classes at a major university. I remember sitting in my first class, Russian 1010, listening to the teacher explain how she did not care who your parents were or whether or not you had a background in Russian, that she would grade you on how you performed in that class and how you followed her specific directions. I did not go into my first day of university education completely naïve to the experience, but I remember thinking then, oh so she doesn’t care that I have a background in Russian or that I already know everything we are going to be discussing in the first two weeks of class. Nope, all she cared about was if i followed her directions, like highlighting my textbook just to make it look like I read not because those things stuck out to me. She graded us on the highlighter color content of the pages in the chapters she assigned.

I could not stand the fact that she had not a care in the world for her students. All she was worried about was us attending class and doing everything exactly how she instructed. I decided that I would have to gain my respect from her on my own and not through my older siblings or any other preconceived knowledge she had of me. That is when respect became a strong belief for me. I want people to know that I am a good person and that I deserve to be treated with respect and that is the attitude I have used to gain something so important to me from all of my teachers since that class and any other circumstances where I meet new people.