Speak out, question authority

Authority. I’ve always had problems with it. Whether it was my mom telling me I couldn’t bring my favourite doll to school (which I then snuck in my backpack) or a professor telling me a thesis was too difficult to write about in 5-8 pages (which I did anyway), I have always gone with my gut. Rebel with an attitude much, huh?
Beyond this self-loving diatribe, I want to make a point about authority. In a class of mine the other day, we had a very frank discussion about the professor’s grading system and rubric. The professor held a group of mainly sophomore science students to the standard of senior English students, which I argued was not fair, as many students in the class had very little experience writing college-level literary analysis papers.
I had an idea going into the discussion that the rest of the class agreed with me that the system was downright terrible—mainly because they told me so. In fact, we had spent the better part of a week complaining to each other about the injustice of it all.
However, once the professor began to discuss with me her opinion (which, of course, was a defense of her rubric), the rest of the class turned. I found myself being patronized by these once-steadfast comrades, and being rebuffed by the professor as a malcontent.
I was shocked. Were these not the same students who complained to me for a week straight about this grading system? Did aliens take over their bodies and leave them as soulless automatons?
As much as I wanted to believe that was the case, I knew that these were scared students, fearing for their grades if their true feelings showed. They were scared of the authority that the professor held over them. They were scared of being the type of person who questions, prods, and dissects the logic that governs us.
I don’t mean to sound so pretentious, but to be one of very few honest students in that class was frustrating. No one but myself and a few choice students said what we were all really thinking. During this discussion, I would literally quote fellow students, only to have them say in return, “Let’s just all try and do better on the next paper!” I had to go to the dentist directly after class to check for cavities after such a sugar-coated sentence.
But what really happened was that eventually, the conversation turned so uncomfortable for everyone in the room that I just checked out. The conversation disheartened me so much that I just went glassy-eyed and stared at my blank piece of paper until eventually, this piece came out.
Authority is scary. It stares down at you until it gets what it wants, and it wants no argument. No questions. Nothing that could possibly break its hold over you. But to live under the shadow of such an entity is no way to live at all. I encourage all students to question authority. To be honest and break the cyclical damage that it brings.
Authority. Have problems with it.