Ever since my days of giggly high school crushes, I've adopted the following mantra when faced with an intimidating person: they have to take a pee like everyone else. It's a little crass and a little immature, but really, try it out next time you get called into a meeting with your boss or that particularly gorgeous barista at Starbucks smiles at you. It's quite the equalizer.
I have a professor here at school who I just can't seem to get along with. When this person wants me to do one thing, I always seem to be doing the exact opposite: a paper is due one class, I thought it was due the next; they insist on being ten minutes early to everything, I miraculously seem to run late to everything they're involved with; they demand perfection, I can't seem to get it right. It's just not a good relationship. I've tried reminding myself that they too have to visit the commode at the end of the day time and again, but this has only resulted in my convincing myself that they don't--surely they are superhuman and subsist on vitamins and nothing else, resulting in a lack of commode-needing! My mantra has failed me with this particularly prickly professor.
Surprisingly enough, over the past few days, it has been this professor who has relieved a lot of my stress over papers and a disappointing semester, and they don't even know it. With only a few unusual comments and off-the-cuff discussions, they've made me feel a lot better about my situation. And that's surprising. So often we expect God to send us the kind angel, a Tiny Tim of sorts, to heal us in our hour of need, but what we really get is a reformed Scrooge. Maybe it's because God likes to be unpredictable. Maybe it's because we forget to look for the good in people. I'd like to think that it's because even Scrooge, in all his prickliness, also had to visit the chamber pot once in awhile. Maybe he found my professor there a time or two.