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Dr. M.R. Edwards

I was 16 and a senior in high school. As the youngest kid in my senior class and even younger than most of the juniors, I was always trying to integrate into the community around me. A bunch of kids in my class formed “clans” and usually joined school-based organizations together as well; so, I was left there wondering what I should do with my free time. The only sport I’m relatively good at is swimming and that happens for a month-long period in spring. In my school though, having a paid job was very uncommon. Instead, students joined charity organizations. Although I was the treasurer of Operation Smile, that was not a time commitment. The only other big organization was Rotary International’s Interact and that did not interest me. I started considering doing absolutely nothing for the rest of the year when, out of the blue, my chemistry teacher offers me a job as his assistant.

Let me stop for a while and talk about Doctor Marc Rex Edwards. First of all, his middle name always reminds me of a go-to name for a dog: “Hey Rex, Come here Rex! Good boy!” He was the only teacher in my entire four years of high school that I always felt I would have a mental breakdown in the middle of his class and just stand up and leave. The worst thing is, I had two classes in a row with him: physics and AP chemistry.

The first day of classes, he made everyone stand up, leave the room, get in a line, and come right back in. Why? So that, according to him, we know how to “come into a classroom in a quiet and orderly fashion.” On that same day, he showed us a certificate from Cambridge which was his doctorate in crystal engineering. To this day I still do not understand how he got it. He might be extremely smart, but he certainly does not know how to teach, which is why I had to correct his mistakes numerous times. I started correcting him so many times that he yelled at me because I was humiliating him. I think this somewhat explains why I was surprised when he offered me the job. I just really needed the money, so I accepted.

Now the job was really not that hard, since it only consisted of grading papers and helping any student who came in after school with questions. I actually liked the alone time after school and the one on ones I had with my friends. The only thing is that I just didn’t feel like it was meaningful in any way. The only interactions I had with my teacher were him handing me the papers to grade and the schedule of the students I had to help that afternoon. After a couple weeks, I started resenting this demeaning job. I was basically his servant who had to do all his taks while he went back to his house. The only thing I got out of it was a few Dirhams to put in my pocket and a story to tell.

Although I didn’t like the job or benefit much from it, working under such conditions allowed me to understand that having an easy job does not mean it is a good thing. You get bored easily and you just have this feeling at the end of the day that you have accomplished absolutely nothing. However I still believe that this helped build my character since it taught me that I had enough pride to quit and that I deserved better for myself and for the community.

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