“Hello Dr. Fein-
I was thinking about your class tonight… I took your course last year and to be honest with you I was probably one of those goof off annoying students who didn’t take the class very seriously. I have always been fairly confident and never really scared of much. I always felt the whole rage/ over exuding yourself with a look of power thing was over emphasized and the fighting wasn’t emphasized enough. However, I was proved wrong tonight, and I feel like maybe you might want to share this with your students.. especially the ones who are know it all’s with their heads up their @SS’s like me.
It was foggy and dark and I was about to get on the bus on my way home from the supermarket. Right before I crossed the street to catch the bus.. I also caught the unwanted attention of a bald, tattooed, two hoop earring, leather jacket wearing man who said “well hello there” to me while giving the creepy up-down look. All of my memories from your class came to me. I sat in the front of the bus, made sure to shove all my groceries in my back pack to free my hands, put away my ipod, stuck my cell in my pocket and got out my pepper spray. You see, usually I am the one with my head phones blaring, groceries in my hands, checking my phone periodically thinking… “whatever this guy isn’t gonna mess me with”. But I had that “gut” feeling you often taught us about. I had never experienced it before and you are absolutely right.. you just get that feeling. My bus stop is on some random part of Lake Merced right across the street from my house. Considering it was dark and foggy with just the lake and the street I was sure hoping this guy did not get off at my stop. I got of the bus quickly and as I got off I saw him try to shove his way out but he didn’t make it and the doors closed. I walked passed and looked at him in the second door I thought “phew” as he looked right at me with piercing blues eyes while he was banging on the doors, then the doors re-opened. I did not look at him but heard him yelling “who the fuck do you think you are huh!?” I was very scared and normally I just shrug this kind of stuff off but I was SCARED. I walked quickly with my head up towards the light I needed to cross and then thought about your word “rage”. Now I realize this is a PERFECT word to use and embody. Inner rage is a whole different thing than confidence or anger… it is everything inside of you, I guess I just didn’t get it until I was put in the situation and It was like as soon as I thought of that word my body was filled with strength and calmness and I did not give two shits about this guy, I was ready for him. I heard him walking behind me (thanks to my alertness!) and immediately turned around while whipping my pepper spray out and said “back off” now I don’t know if I said it quite like you do.. but I saw his look change from attacker to dumbfounded and surprised. IT WAS AWESOME. He walked away and put his phone up to his ear pretending to talk about it while I had to wait for the light to change I just gave him the look holding my pepper spray right next to the street. I then crossed the street and he stayed on the other side eerily staring at me and I had to go in my back yard because I didn’t want him to see where I live.
But anyways that’s the end of the story and I honestly would have been thinking “oh shit what am I going to do right now” if I had not taken your class. Also, apologies for the swear words this literally just happened and I am typing my honest thoughts. I warded off an attacker without really even doing anything and felt empowered. This was all something I knew about, and thought was a little cheesy or for “weak” people (I know terrible) but now I really get it, and the that words “empowerment” holds so much more meaning to me. Thank you Judith! Have a wonderful semester.
Jessica, I am glad my class and I could help. It is always important to realize that having confidence and strength outwardly (even if you are scared inwardly) is necessary in driving off a potential attacker. Go girl! Keep it up!