Joan Bakewell’s response to a prominent tutor’s negative comments resonates strongly with me (A Moment That Changed Me: My Teacher Called My Homework Bullshit – And Totally Destroyed Me, September 8).
As an undergraduate at a prestigious university in the mid-1950s, I also experienced scathing sarcasm from a professor. Unlike Joan, I didn’t have the resilience or the inner strength to recover. Perhaps it was partly because not only was the criticism given publicly in front of two cohorts of students, but also because, in a humiliating way, it was suggested that I receive private lessons from a classmate. the next year.
At the time, I had glandular fever, which the college nurse described as a fit of the flu, so my weak pleas for more time were ignored. Decades later, I believe I managed to turn my humiliation into a determination to strengthen and enrich the careers I chose as a teacher and mental health counselor. There is no place in either profession for cruelty or sarcasm. We thrive on kindness and understanding. Thank you Joan, for reminding me that I have finally recovered from what was initially a crippling experience.
Name and address provided