Category Archives: Life Lessons

Personal Thoughts: December 2022 (Part 2)

I mentioned in the last post that I have an older sibling who covers her ears and rudely walks away when our 80+ year-old mother asks her to take her grocery shopping. (It’s not that my sibling can’t; she has two cars and often goes out on her own driving one of those vehicles. And because she has an extra vehicle, I had to follow up with the building manager about getting that extra parking space — it’s $25 per month but there was no extra parking space available when I first brought the property, and I kept following up until that extra space finally became available. I did not receive a word of thanks from my sibling.) 

And because I need to pay for the mortgage, I have been working 6 days a week (sometimes 7). (On a side note, even my mortgage broker seems to think I’m not ambitious enough as he thinks I should be working even more without truly understanding that I work many hours a week and I’m not a machine/robot. It’s to “get ahead,” in his words.)

So, on the one half-day (Monday morning) that I am not at work, my mother asks me to take her grocery shopping. Am I supposed to say no? Of course I take her, and this is after being physically and mentally tired from working that many hours daily. 

But my older sibling (and, to some extent, my boss) doesn’t appreciate that and labeled me a mama’s boy. Wait, what?! 

Now, to be clear, I’m not the type of person who will throw people out (although I can see most people that I do know will do that to my older sibling). I just expect more respect. 

I expect cordialness.

But my older sibling is the type of person who gives people the silent treatment when she thinks you’ve pissed her off. Hmm. I see. Well, my older sibling is essentially living for free and yet isn’t thankful. When she does talk to us, it’s complain about one thing after another. 

But at the moment (today is Christmas Day 2022*, and my older sibling hasn’t talked to me for weeks, a silent treatment/passive aggressive type of behaviour which started shortly after I lent her that money which she kept begging me to lend her), once again, instead of being cordial and friendly, she has decided to revert to the type of behaviour which is appalling. 

*Think about that again one more time. It is Christmas, and my sibling shows no sign of thanks for living in my home for free and believes it is perfectly fine to ignore me like I do not exist. Think about that one again.

Again, I stress that she doesn’t pay rent (yes, she gave me a cheque for this month, the first full month she is staying here, but she promptly then borrowed money from me which was several hundred dollars higher than the rent amount). 

She’s the OLDER sibling, meaning one would reasonably expect her to be more responsible.

Somehow, in people’s eyes, I’m the villain here. Okay, I see. 

(On a side note, regarding responsibility: I recently found out from a student that one of the teachers at our school does not respond to the school admin’s texts regarding scheduling until the next day, which I didn’t realize you’re allowed to do. I almost always respond within an hour, if not sooner. I guess I should learn from others and not be that responsible, huh? This information was revealed in a conversation between that student and the school admin in my classroom while I was sitting in there, and the context of that conversation suggests that teacher’s action is inconvenient for the school.)

And my sibling rudely mocked me for buying a lot of fast food and junk food, even though she is aware (because I’ve mentioned it) that I often work 10-11 hours a day on weekdays and often don’t have a lot of time to have a proper meal (although I do not eat that food every day). Or maybe she isn’t aware because she doesn’t want to listen when I explain that I work 10-11 hours a day. 

That brings me to this next point: Whenever people tell me “I don’t care” or “Nobody cares” when I want to make a point, I find that to be disrespectful. Many times people say that when they asked me something and I give them an answer, and their response is that. 

I see authors write online that they get emotional support from their family during their writing process. The only things that I’ve heard from my older sibling is “Borrrrrrrring!” when I casually bring up I’ve published a new book. So, I don’t even talk about it anymore. 

She was supposed to move out of her rented house by Nov. 1, 2022, but she wasn’t ready. The landlord, whom she refers to as an “asshole” and whom she wishes would just die, said that if she’s staying beyond Nov. 1, then pay $1,000 for the next 10 days. Do you know who paid that $1,000? That would be me. 

When she still wasn’t ready yet (because she had accumulated a lot of possessions over the years), I suggested “putting more money in the landlord’s pocket to make him let you stay longer,” she scoffed that it was an idiotic idea. She even told that to my boss, whom I had introduced to her. (And oh, I am aware of the fact that my older sibling has written bad cheques recently — yes, plural — when paying rent. She was supposed to pay cash to the landlord but almost always wrote post-dated cheques and several of them bounced over the past few years.)

So, once again I’m the bad guy, the idiotic and stupid guy, despite the fact that I was actively thinking of solutions. My boss insisted she wanted to help, so I said to my boss, “I would like you to help my sibling to be more humble,” because of the fact that they talked to each other and my boss is an educator as well as a mother, so I thought that she could relate to my sibling in a way that nobody else around me could. 

But anyway, I’m a bad guy, a loser, and an idiot/stupid person even though I’ve done my best to help my family members.

My mother tells me not to argue with my sibling because it’s not my sibling’s fault; it’s just that she’s been possessed by evil demons and spirits that are controlling her actions. 

Well, I actually don’t have time to argue; I work 10-11 hours a day (which my boss has told me not to talk about), and I need my rest. I haven’t been able to write. I just expected to be treated with respect for all that I have done. 

But, like, whoever taught my sibling that it’s okay to ignore people if you don’t want to talk to them… whether it’s her friends or peers or my boss who gave her this ridiculous and irresponsible idea… let’s consider that my sibling is living under my roof, doesn’t pay rent (I have a mortgage to pay, which seems to have escaped my sibling and my boss), and thinks it’s okay to ignore me and be disrespectful to me? 

I’m really not sure my sibling’s attitude and behaviour make any sense. I am not sure what her point is. If she thinks she’s better than my mother and me (by choosing not to talk to us regularly), if she feels she’s superior and we are stupid low-lives, stupid losers, then why doesn’t she purchase her own property and live on her own? Or go rent an expensive apartment where she can have all the space she wants?

By her own admission, she’s told her friends before what losers my mother and I are. 

Yup. I am a loser. 

What a great life, huh?  

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Personal Thoughts: December 2022, Part 1

I agree with with the general premise that if you don’t have close friends around you, it’s more of “your problem” than that of others. The premise is that you’ve not been a good enough person and people just leave you. 

Sure, I agree with that general premise. 

But let me put it this way. I don’t drink alcohol and people count that as one strike against me and don’t want to hang out with me. That’s fine. I don’t drink.

I also don’t have a lot of close male friends. The reason is simple: I’ve hung out with enough male peers to witness the fact that many of them like to talk about sexual things when females are around, and a lot of the things that they do say are filthy and uncomfortable. And I personally choose not to be around these guys. Sure, I’ve seen them be charming when the ladies are around, but once the females are not in the room, the guys say a lot of sexual things about them. I’m not talking about teenagers; I’m talking about people who are professionals and these include those who are highly-respected in their professions. Sorry, I just don’t feel comfortable hanging out with a lot of these guys. 

Or they’re just very negative. When I got my first job, I excitedly told my “friend” Edward about it. It was an office manager job in a small company. Edward scoffed and said I was “just a secretary.” Why are people like that? Why not just offer your congratulations?  

There’s also a comment I’ve heard being said about me: I’m not ambitious enough. Sure, that’s true. I have a Commerce/Business Administration degree, but I decided upon graduation that I wasn’t interested in the finance industry or banking industry. That does not excite me. But I’ve had “friends” who have disowned me because they feel I don’t try hard enough. 

Well, I have spent a lot of my recent years chasing things that do excite me: 1) I have written books, which I have wanted to do for the past 15 years. (One of them is a biography about Tom Candiotti, one of my favourite baseball players growing up — published by McFarland & Co.) 2) I have become a hockey play-by-play broadcaster for a local minor hockey team, with broadcasting being something I’ve wanted to do for the past 10 years. 3) I have worked for multiple sports organizations locally, which fulfills my interest in sports. 4) A couple of years after graduation, I decided I wanted to teach, and I’ve been doing that for years. 

Although this isn’t one of the “goals” that I have in life, I have managed to purchase a home to allow my mother and older sibling to live with me. 

So, for somebody who isn’t ambitious, I would say I have tried my best to achieve some of the things that interest me in life. Again, working in finances and the corporate world doesn’t interest me. 

I’m human. I have flaws. Everybody has flaws. I have given bosses attitude before — but they’ve been fine with it — because I know that I am a very capable and competent employee. 

I would also say I have attitude but I’ve been responsible. 

As mentioned, I purchased a home — a unit in a condo in Richmond, which is 20 minutes from downtown Vancouver. It took a whie because I was relying on my own income and the lenders were hesitant because my income wasn’t high enough in their eyes. I could not afford a place in Vancouver or Burnaby — if I let my mother and older sibling come and live with me. One of the first places I wanted was in New Westminster, which is about 30 minutes from Vancouver. 

Keep in mind that Vancouver is expensive in terms of property, and I am the only person whose income the lenders are looking at. Yet when the information about my checking out New Westminster properties first floated to my older sibling, she scoffed and called me “stupid” for looking at properties that far from Vancouver. Hmm. Again, I stress this is my OLDER sibling. 

One of my bosses once asked me about my family, and because I did not want to talk about the topic, I purposely changed the subject. Much later, the boss told me that after that conversation, she felt like I was trying to push people away by not talking about things directly when asked. 

Okay, so finally I told that boss about the situation with my family. Remarkably, my boss said that because I’m a man, I should be taking care of my sibling and mom. 

Okay, I see. Yet when I took my mother (who is over 80 years old) to do grocery shopping because whenever she asked my older sibling, my older sibling would just cover her ears and rudely walk away. So, yes, I do take my mother to do grocery shopping. Yet when I introduced my sibling to that boss, my boss seemed to agree with many things that my older sibling is doing. For example, after I came home with my mother doing the grocery shopping, my sibling scoffed and said I was a mama’s boy. Later, that same boss said the same thing about me. 

Okay, so either way, people will say you need to be more responsible and look after your mother and OLDER sibling, and at the same token they will mock you for being a mama’s boy when you do grocery shopping with your mother. 

As for my sibling, I would expect a little more respect than the constant mocking and insults I’m given. No, these are not said in a joking way. These are said in a hostile manner. Whether it’s saying I’m stupid for looking at properties outside of Vancouver/Burnaby or making insulting comments when I was measuring rooms to figure out where to place furniture and desks… I find that to be in poor taste because my older sibling seems to think that she can live for free as she gave me a cheque for rent (which was way less than the amount I had asked for) in the first full month that she moved in (we are still in that first full month now) and then promptly borrowed an amount of money (that was several hundred dollars more than the rent amount) from me shortly after. And I often brought food home that I had purchased to share with her. So, my boss doesn’t think I take care of my family?? What?! I would expect more respect from everybody.

More on these later…. 

Respect

I don’t think it’s okay to ignore people. Isn’t that a form of bullying?

I will still help people, but these experiences that I’ve had are certainly not pleasant. We’ve all been helped. We’ve all helped people. I think what we want in return is respect. I’m going to share this particular incident, this situation that happened to me. Actually, two. 

First up: Let’s call this person J. The letter J. You know, on an earlier episode of my podcast, I referenced someone as the letter D. No names, just letters. So, I’m going to call this next person “J.” The letter J.

Let me begin the story from the time when J asked me to write her a reference letter. I asked “when?” She said “this week.” So, I wrote up a reference letter that same day and gave it to her. (According to her, she was looking for a part-time job or simply a full-time opportunity elsewhere.) She told me not to tell the other staff that we hung out. Which is, okay, whatever. A few days later, she left some chicken rice in the fridge at work, and she texted me to deliver it to her after I was done that day (her home is nearby). Again, she told me not to tell the other staff that I was bringing her stuff to her.

But then shortly after I wrote that reference letter and gave it to her (it was several weeks later), she just stopped talking to me. It was, to me, like, okay, KP is no longer useful, so there’s no more need to interact with KP. I find that to be a bit disrespectful. And it was obvious. I always leave my classroom door open. It’s because these classrooms in the places where I teach, there are no windows or no windows that open. So I leave the door open because I don’t want to feel like I’m in prison. Symbolically, it’s also to say that my door is always open and anybody can come in and talk to me about anything. 

So J would walk past my room without saying hi. But J would say hi to virtually everyone else. It’s obvious. Now, the sports media and sports fans would crucify Barry Bonds for ignoring his teammates. So, shouldn’t we do the same to regular people around us? It’s totally disrespectful. Again, it’s like, after I do a favour by writing a reference letter and that’s done, it feels like there’s no need to interact with me anymore. And there was that telling comment: Don’t tell the other staff etc. that we hung out. 

You can interpret that in different ways. 

So I sent a text and asked if I had offended J, and if so, I would like to apologize, but I did notice that J has stopped saying hello. 

The response was typical:

Hahaha what! I say hi to you all the time KP??? Like every day I say hi to you!!!   

That last statement was definitely not true. Just stop. Don’t insult my intelligence.

And there was no apology. I was the one who apologized for even mentioning that. 

But another very telling incident was shortly after that, a week after that…

Let’s call it a work-related matter. She was asked by the school to assist me with something. We did not have to work together on anything; it was just a matter of J assisting me with something. 

J and I had a brief in-person conversation and then I said I would email her the game plan. I did so a few minutes later, sent it by email and texted her about it. I notice she was still at the front desk talking to admin. I wanted to just verbally let her know that I had emailed her the game plan. So I came out of my room to say “Hey, J. I wanted to —”   As soon as J saw me, she put her earphones in her ears and said “Bye” and walked out the door to go home. That is totally disrespectful. 

Isn’t that passive aggressive? You spent so much time talking to admin and as soon as I come out and said, “hey J,” you walk out. That’s a very bad look. So, be that way. And besides, I wanted to talk about a work matter.

From my perspective, J comes across as being fake.

I intend to re-tell this story on my podcast with Stan Markotich. This is a learning opportunity for our students and our younger listeners. Don’t treat people this way. Don’t take it if someone does this to you. 

I will still help people. But you come to realize people have an agenda. It’s not good to say that, but that’s true. It’s one thing if we had never hung out or if never talked to each other beforehand, but the fact is we did hang out before outside of work and we did talk to each other and I was always cordial with her, and I did help her before with the favour, so I would expect to receive a bit more respect. I mean, for me, if someone has a problem with you, talk about it. I tried talking about it and was laughed at, with that Hahaha what? I say hi to you all the time KP like every day I say hi to you.  

You move on. But that person was disrespectful. But hey, I’m not a lesser person than anybody else. I’m not a non-person. You just don’t act that way to me. Nobody owes me anything. But respect is important. You just don’t treat someone who helped you out before like that.

You can at least say, “Sorry, I have to run right now. Let me text you.” But there was no apology, just a “Bye” and walk out the door. Earphones in ears like she wasn’t interested in what I had to say. That’s a bad look. I don’t like being used. I don’t like being treated like a pawn. Nobody does. Be respectful. 

Then, here’s another person. This is a second story—at a different workplace. I worked from home for a while because of the pandemic. Then I went back to work, in person. The online class that I was teaching, it got transferred to another instructor, whom I’ll call “E.” 

I got assigned a brand new in-person class. E inherited my original class but E would teach at school using a computer while the students studied from home online. Basically an online class but E teaches from the school.

I tried to give E some information about those students because I knew them and E didn’t know them. They were new to E. 

When I gave him some information about students that he was inheriting (I called this my “scouting report” because we both follow sports), he said, “I don’t do scouting reports. I do it based on my interactions with them. But thanks.”

Why not just say, “Thank you, I’ll look at it” — or something like, “Thanks, I’ll hang on to it just in case”?

The next day I wanted to say hello to my former students, he said, “No, they’re on break.” I said again that I just wanted to say hello to them (in case some were still at their desk), and he repeated, “No, they’re on break.” 

Why be a jerk? And he wasn’t joking around. He was stiff in his answer. This is someone who has taught in South America and in Asia. He has decades of experience. We’re talking about an educated person. Yet he treats fellow instructors like this? 

And then I could hear his lesson from next door because the walls are thin. He was mispronouncing a student’s name so I wrote a note and slipped it under his door. I also emailed him to say, “Hey FYI E, the student’s name is pronounced [blah blah], and not the way you say it, but I think the student is too polite to correct you.” There was no acknowledgment from E. 

The following week, I could still hear E mispronouncing that student’s name. That teacher also doesn’t talk to me anymore.

E is simply not respectful. This is the same person who was rude another time. During the first summer of the pandemic, I started a podcast. (This podcast.) I let E know about this and said, “Hey, can you check this out? It’s my new podcast.” 

His response: “I listen only to Tim & Sid.” Why be like that? 

There was no “Good luck with it. Hope it works out great.”  It was just “I listen only to Tim & Sid.” (Note: Tim & Sid was a sports talk show hosted by Tim Micallef and Sid Seixeiro between 2011 and 2021, and its current name is Tim & Friends.)

Some time prior to that, he had asked me to help him secure some freelance work and I did help him out with some contacts and i gave him glowing references. Again, I was fine doing that. We’ve all been helped before and we’ll all helped others. What we all want in return is respect. But E is certainly disrespectful. You don’t treat people like that. 

Here’s the thing. He thinks he’s seen the world and knows all there is to know and doesn’t acknowledge other people’s feedback. Again I used to respect him and, as mentioned, I gave him a glowing review, a glowing reference, but his actions are just not okay and he’s disrespectful. 

So, you have both people — J and E — who don’t say hello anymore and don’t apologize. Just blatantly rude. One just puts on her earphones and says “Bye” and walks out the door. The other is just plain rude. So, once again, these people whom I’ve helped — they treat me like I’m a non-person, a lesser person. That’s fine. I’ll still help other people in the future. 

As for people such as J and E, to me they are terrorists. After all, if you are not on my team, you are against me. Does this sound like an exaggeration and disrespectful? Well, consider this: There was a movie produced in 2015 called The Intern, where Anne Hathaway referred to her mother as a terrorist. If this word is being used in this way in pop culture, I consider it fair game and will indeed label those against me as terrorists. Disrespectful terrorists.

I’m no longer a person – again

Once again, I’m back to being a non-person.

This is such a regular occurrence that I shouldn’t even bat an eye when it happens – again.

I have an older sibling who’s four years my senior. Just last Saturday, my sibling was buttering me up when wanting to borrow some cash for lunch (because that place is a cash-only establishment). I loaned the money and I was paid back later. No big deal. My sibling also wanted to borrow even more money, but I declined.

Interestingly, the next day, my sibling was no longer speaking to me – again. I don’t know what I had done wrong this time, but I mean, I’m again no longer a person. I’m back to being persona non grata. As I type this, it’s Wednesday night, meaning it’s been four days now of this silent treatment. I’m back to being invisible.

So, really, it’s nothing unusual because that’s how it seems with many people in society. When they want something, they butter you up. And when you’re no longer needed (this time), you’re kicked to the curb.

Just the other day, someone asked me rhetorically if I felt I was “childish” because I have a toy collection at home. I chose not to answer the question.

But being “childish”? I can say that the passive-aggressive approach employed by my sibling would count as that. And it is passive-aggressive behaviour, that’s for sure. There’s tension which can be felt. Yes, I’ve experienced this type of treatment from both my sibling and my father repeatedly over the years, so it shouldn’t affect me.

But I’m not a machine. I’m not AI. I’m not a robot. I’m a human being. A person.

Except when I’m treated like I’m not. Like I’m a non-person.

Now, when I was younger, did I ignore people? Yes, I often did in school. That was a time when I was extremely shy and afraid of talking to people. Did I offend anyone then? Yes, I’m sure I did. But again, at the time I was extremely afraid of talking to people.

When you’re older, you change. But some people don’t. I used to work at this school where there were two instructors who were like that. Now, keep in mind that we’re talking about grown adults who are educators. Let that sink in for a moment.

I was new at that school at the time. I said “Hi” to a math teacher whom I came across in the hallway. He stared at me without a word. Eventually, he returned the favour by saying “Hi” back, but the first few times were awkward. Then, there was this other teacher named Cicy. I said “Hi” when coming across her in the hallway. I was ignored. It happened a few times. Another time I was approaching the school building and saw her coming in my direction. I said “Hello” and was ignored.

Now, this Cicy was not shy because I’d seen her yapping it up with the school administrators and other teachers. So, I guess the question is this: Am I too much of a loser that people – in this case, Cicy – just don’t want to talk to? Again, let that one sink in for a moment: We’re talking about a grown adult who happens to be an educator. So, here’s yet another reason that I think teachers are overrated.

If this particular teacher had any issue with me, let’s discuss it. But this passive-aggressive nonsense is just silly. I often joked to myself that the “C” in the name of the school stood for “Clique” – It’s like this Cicy still thought she was in high school.

One time, I was told by a student who was from the same ethnicity with Cicy and the math teacher that in their country, if someone randomly said “Hi,” they would just walk away and thought the speaker was weird. Well, that’s fine. But hello? We’re in Canada. Besides, if you’re an educator and you’re behaving like that, well, I have to question your ability to teach and inspire kids.

Of course, how can you blame others for treating you like you’re invisible, like you’re a non-person, when you’ve received that kind of treatment from your own sibling and father? If family can do that, I guess that’s fair game by others. (Oh yeah, speaking of family, I heard that Cicy’s mother taught at a different location of that school, so I would guess that’s how Cicy got that job. Nepotism at its finest.)

There was one incident when Cicy brought her dog to school. My classroom happened to be across the hall from hers. My students were supposed to be focusing on their English 12 reading assignment, but they were too busy checking out Cicy’s dog across the hall. I closed the blinds but that didn’t work. Now, some peers will scoff and say that it proved I didn’t know how to teach. But the thing is, Cicy could have done something to help out the situation by maybe coming over to apologize and ask the students to focus in their class? This Cicy never even bothered to come and talk to me to acknowledge that her dog created some inconvenience for me.

So, okay, I collect toys. But the actions of this grown adult, this female teacher, should be considered even more “childish,” in my opinion.

And speaking of being “childish,” I can say that people who refuse to follow rules are childish. In some cases, they’re thieves. Recently, I took the bus (and, sure, some people will scoff and say “Serves you right for taking the bus,” but last time I checked, countless people use transit every single day) and sat at the back, where I witnessed this bald dude get on via the back door, did not pay (passengers are supposed to tap their Compass bus card on the system), and took a seat and proceeded to stick his knee out in the aisle during the duration of the ride in a way that would make Ulf Samuelsson proud (that’s a reference to the former Pittsburgh Penguins player who famously stuck his knee out and injured Boston Bruins star Cam Neely). And, oh, he didn’t wear a mask, even though for transit passengers in this city, it’s still mandatory to have a mask on.

So, you have this fellow who 1) didn’t pay (meaning he’s the equivalent of a thief), 2) didn’t wear a mask (a type of childish behaviour when we’re in the midst of a pandemic), and 3) stuck his knee out and was in the way of people who were trying to get to the back of the bus the entire ride.

I mean, at least this thieving fella wasn’t a teacher, I don’t think. But shame on people like Cicy and others who treat others like they’re invisible. And the sad thing is some of these people are teachers.

Oh yeah. This school that I referenced? I quit twice before and I was begged to return, so I did. However, I quit a third time recently – and I don’t think I’ll be back. If I wanted to be treated like I’m invisible, I could just hang out with family and get that.

Teachers who didn’t care

Last year when I spoke with Mark Langill, the LA Dodger historian, about advice for students aspiring to work for a sports organization, he recalled the time when his high school English teacher helped him by nominating him for the school newspaper:

Mark acknowledged he was very lucky.

Not everybody is, however.

In my own high school, there was no teacher like that. All I encountered were teachers who didn’t care. Or not enough.

At the time, I was shy and timid, afraid of speaking. I was often unhappy. Not one teacher ever pulled me aside to ask me if everything was okay. Not one.

After I graduated and then completed my first year of university, that summer I was looking to volunteer my time at the Neil Squire Foundation, to help people with disabilities learn to use the computer. I returned to my high school to ask some of my teachers for a reference. Two of them laughed and said, “Shouldn’t you be looking for a job instead?” It was obviously a harmless joke. Yet, for someone who didn’t have the highest amount of self-esteem at the time, being laughed at for wanting to do something positive was deflating. If I had completed eight weeks at Neil Squire, I would have received a certificate. I left after six weeks, not because I didn’t like it, but ultimately I let those teachers’ remark bother me (ie. I chose to interpret the comment to mean, “If you’re not chasing money, you’re behind everybody else and you’re a loser,” or something to that effect).

But I want to go back to English class specifically. It was Grade 8. I had just immigrated to Canada two years earlier and was new. In Dickson’s English 8 class, I scored the highest in the first term. I know that because Dickson, an older gentleman who had no sense of humour and was always very serious, read out all the marks for the class. He read out each person’s student number and percentage. I listened attentively and heard that my 83% was the highest. Nobody else got that or a mark higher than mine. To my utter disappointment, though, Dickson never acknowledged who had the highest mark (me) and also gave me a B, even though nobody else achieved a higher score.

So, on two levels, I was disappointed. Dickson did not acknowledge me. He also chose to grade us strictly by the book: 86% or higher would be A. Anything less would not be an A.

When you have teachers like Dickson who did nothing to support or encourage you, it is very deflating. None of the other English teachers I had after that — Comey, Comeau, and Borgen — cared either. Borgen was a funny dude, but he wasn’t caring.

I haven’t even talked about classmates yet. There’s a big deal about how there’s Asian hate crimes, etc. Not to dismiss any of that, but even Asians were bullying fellow Asians. There was an Asian classmate named Kenny. My name has the word “Kok” in it (and hence I’ve now shortened my name to KP), and Kenny and his Asian friends were mocking me once. (Once out of numerous times.) I’m Asian. Someone made a joke about my name, and Kenny said my dad’s name was probably “Dick” and my mom’s was likely “Vagina.” So, when you have fellow Asian classmates who treated you like crap and teachers who didn’t care, things were very difficult.

There was one teacher who was kind — although she wasn’t someone who actually taught me. She was a teacher in the school but I never had classes with her. She might have seen my career interest questionnaire results and thought that I really wanted to be an accountant. (I didn’t.) I don’t know why she assumed I wanted to be an accountant, but I never told her that I didn’t want to. She approached me and started giving me advice on how to pursue that.

Our school counsellor was also caring. But again, she wasn’t my teacher whom I saw every day.

So, even though I’m a teacher myself right now, anytime anyone asks me about teachers, I give the straight answer — based on my own experience: Teachers care only about themselves.

Unfortunately, that’s true. At least based what I have personally experienced.