Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.


Parenting is like teaching in the sense that you are much more a function than a person. If you make it about you as a person, a human being, you’ll be disappointed and miserable. 

For instance, N is unhappy because all of a sudden Klara seems to prefer me to him and wants to hang off my neck all the time. 

“What did I do wrong?” he asks. 

This is not about him, however. Just like it won’t be about him or me when at the age of 5 she’ll say, “I want to marry Daddy. Go away, Mamma.” Right now, she is undergoing the separation anxiety stage, which is normal at this age. It’s not about us as human beings. It’s about us as functions. 

Even when the children are very grown, even elderly, their parents are still much more functions than individuals to them. “This hairstyle doesn’t really suit you” carries an entirely different weight when said by a parent than by anybody else. 

It’s the same with teaching. Asking “But how can they lie to me or disrespect me” is a waste of time. You are not there. They are interacting with a function, not a person. Leave your self outside the classroom and you’ll be a fantastic teacher. 


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2 thoughts on “Function

  1. Very eloquently put, as always. And you’re right. Self-distancing does wonders for one’s mental health. — But I can so relate to your husband. It hurts to be the parent in the corner, even if temporary. The tide will turn though, maybe in even less than 5 years. 😉


    • Oh, absolutely. These are just normal childhood stages of development. For instance, my little nephew is currently in love with grandpa. Who knows why he wants to be glued to grandpa all the time when grandma takes care of him a lot more. But that’s what the little boy currently needs, so it makes no sense to get upset over it.


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