I Do Not Like You


Mr. Bussen, Teacher

I need to get something off my chest: I don’t like you. I’m a mercenary teacher, in this business for the money, nothing more.

Teachers sometimes talk about liking their students. They say they feel stimulated by their students’ ideas and excited by their intellectual growth. This doesn’t make a lick of sense to me because I’ve certainly never felt this way about you. Your ideas bore me, that you might remain as pathetic, dull, and uninformed as you are right now is no concern of mine, and frankly, I don’t like you.

Every time I enter a classroom I take a deep breath, preparing for the brain-numbing inanity the next fifty minutes hold. At the end of class I reassure myself that I’m not in fact wasting my life in the presence of insignificant little dumbbells like you by quietly singing to myself—CA-CHING!—and picturing my bank account filling to its brim with the stone cold jack I just earned. It’s the only way I can get through the day.

I imagine you saying, “But Mr. Bussen, it really seems like you like me. Before you start class you say you’re fired up and let out a seemingly heartfelt whoop of pure joy.” To which I say—I’m lying. I’m hacked off to be with you. The whoop is a desperate attempt to summon from my callous soul energy enough to get through another awful period with a bunch of insufferable snot-nosed dimwits that, honestly, I don’t even like.

Yet you persist, “C’mon Mr. Bussen. You smile and say hi to me in the hallway. It makes me feel like you are genuinely happy to see me and appreciate my presence.”

Okay. Let me break this down for you. I entered into a contract with Saint Louis Priory School to teach you in exchange for a hefty wad of loot. Regrettably, to fulfill my obligation I must “develop a rapport” with my students. Ugh, It’s the worst part of the job. So, if I don’t pretend, I run the risk of losing this gig and along with it my access to the wheelbarrows full of dough it pays out—the only thing that brings me satisfaction in this world. Thus, I go out of my way to trick you into thinking I have even the slightest interest in you. 

Which I don’t. 

In fact, I don’t like you at all.

Every day after school I drive away from you as fast as I can. I arrive home where I caress all the great stuff I was able to buy by pretending to like you. In doing so I ritualistically wash away all memory of you and your classmates, none of whom I like. Then I go to bed and sleep soundly.

In conclusion please understand that I don’t like you. If I’m acting like I do it is only a cynical ploy to ensure that sweet, sweet monetary manna continues to rain down on me like a divine hurricane.

I’m paid to make you think I like you.

But I don’t. 

I do not like you.