It has been said, on a few occasions, by a few of my students, that I have this uncanny ability to know what is going on in their lives. One of them has even called me Professor X, because it seems as if I have some telepathic ability to read their minds.
In truth, I do.
Now for any of my students reading this.. go away.. the rest of you can stay.
Yes, I know you are still reading.. now.. shooo.
Ok, are they gone?
Really, I don’t, but don’t tell them that. It would ruin so much of the fun I have with them.
I wouldn’t want to be able to read their minds, the thoughts they must have would be down right scary. Things like, where do I go to college, what do I want to do with my life, does so and so like me, how did I get a pimple there, what’s with this smell, is this shirt clean, where did I see that recipe for making Top Raman stew?
I mean, seriously, how disturbing would those thoughts be?
Plus, I enjoy the puzzle of figuring things out. Watching for the reactions they display when I say something or ask a specific question, reading their body language, or hearing how they respond too quickly or too slowly to something.
Sure, it sounds like it’s all a game, but in the conversations I have with them, the end isn’t about me figuring it out, but about getting them to talk about it, to give them the space to figure out how to proceed, or to give them some actionable advice that helps them with the situation they are currently in.
Sadly, and yes, it has happened, they get stuck in their spot and that spot swallows them up, causing them to make decisions that will have life altering consequences for the worse, or they just decide to end it.
Those are the moments.. those moments when they are in the thick of it.. I just wish I could do more.. I wish I could be more.. and I think.. maybe if I could have read their minds, kept them from the harm and the pain.. maybe..
Those are the moments I’m glad no one can read my mind.
Because even Professor X has his limits.