The best teacher I had

*Note: Below is a comment I posted to a blog post on Stuff White People Do about cognitive biases and the best teacher you ever had:

The best teacher I had was Dr. Cera in my two intro psych classes. He scored high enough on the APA exam to teach ANYWHERE (ie: New York/LA), yet taught comfortably at my community college in suburban Vancouver. I learned so much from Dr. Cera, from his entirely appropriate use of ‘foul’ language in class (seriously) to the fact that he exemplified what it meant for a person to be COMPLETELY real and COMPLETELY genuine. You could never call him on bullshit because it naturally slipped off him. He had an ethos for functionality and cut his hair probably twice a year (only when it grew too long). I used to joke that he was too busy being a genius to cut his white locks and had the semblance of Einstein’s hair.

When Dr. Cera conducted our 30-bodied class, he sat down at the tables like we did with his arms neatly together and his glasses half-way down his nose. He made real eye contact with us and often drew examples from his grad school experiences or memorable clients from his private practice. He was totally honest with you and once he even wore an earring! He addressed everybody as “sir” or “miss” and led a classroom conducted with respect, between teacher and student, and student to student. Some teachers in college learned you by name, but Dr. Cera never did. Maybe he was too old. Maybe it was too hard to learn names and faces that change each semester.

I am now majoring in Psychology because of Dr. Cera. His presence gave me real experiences of my own to illustrate the concepts he taught in the classroom, and reflecting on his class gave me the vocabulary and immersion to function in the ‘real’ world as a person changed for the better. One day, after I wrote a paper on self-actualization (my most personally redeeming), he accidentally called me out by name. That was the best day of my life.

Intimacy is better than sex

Now this is a little troubling to think about: how can intimacy be better than sex? Doesn’t sex involve some sort of intimacy. Well sure, but they’re not quite the same things. Intimacy is being close to an other, vulnerable and emotionally intertwined like the threads of a bird’s lovenest – as if one.

It was said somewhere that a true lover is not a man who makes love to a million women, but one who makes love to a woman a million ways. Intimacy is like that but without the messy condoms.

Reflecting on my day off, I think about my past loves. They were a great pair. One the daughter of a South Asian pop singer celebrity and the other an inconspicuously sub-famed actress, feminist, beauty-queen.

I guess when it comes down to it, I’m in love with my memories. I read an article that said that our “experiencing self” is no where near as important as our reflective self. That is the part of us that is here, now and present, is less important than the one that remembers that delicious dinner at that banquet with the savoury, perfectly salted piece of rare, beautifully marbled meat. That is the kind of intimacy I strive for. The kind that hits me when I’m sitting in my room and the sizzle of a barbecue is just a touch more noticeable than the faint waft of cooked meat percolating in the air.

Yeah, you guessed it. I had a barbecue last night and that memory. Is better than sex.

So Far So Good

Today I spent most of the day at the mall with a buddy and a couple friends as I bought a new phone. Because there was nothing much to do, I went and made a ‘painting’ with MS Paint on the work terminal at the Koodo Kiosk where my friends work. This piece started off like most of my drawings, as a doodle that evolves into a bigger picture. You’ll notice that the on the left-side of the cabin is a green patch that is a “mistake.” I didn’t even see it until I got home, but I like the effect of the piece anyway. When I look at this painting my eyes naturally vanish into the distance beyond the hills and beneath the clouds. Don’t really know what else there really is to this painting but let me know what you think. I like what’s there.