Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Blessed Bob

Ahhh, it's students like these that make my day! Office hours early Tuesday, usually I water plants and make coffee the first 15 minutes. Bob, Master's student, is camped outside my door.

Dr. SquareState, he addresses me properly. I'm in your X class. I have an opportunity to go to for seven months and teach hamster fur weaving as part of for disadvantaged kids. Would you give me some tips as to where I can find good information on teaching hamster fur weaving and teaching kids? 

We speak for 10-15 minutes until the floodwaters of students needing my signature on something or other washes in. I explain, and he takes notes. He asks questions. I suggest he register for independent study and get some credit for what he is doing. We speak of target groups and structures of instruction and I literally see the jigsaw puzzle pieces of what he's been learning in X class falling into place.

He thanks me by email in the evening for giving him so many good ideas for material to read.

If I get one of these a semester, I can tolerate the rest. Well, with the exception of the 5 snowflakes I am currently grilling on the grounds of turning in Wikipedia articles as their own work....


  1. Thanks for the breath of fresh air. Bob's not only polite and responsible, he has a social conscience. Does he have any younger siblings who need a good community college?

  2. If only they knew that all it takes is ONE faithful one to salvage a horrible term (sounds Biblical... wasn't God looking for just ONE righteous man in Sodom and Gomorrah?)

    I am so glad they still exist somewhere out there.

    1. Abraham bargained God down to 10, but, as far as I can see, no further (Genesis 18: http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=221075019 ; I had to look it up ). Apparently the angels didn't find even that many, just Lot and his family, who were saved. And the actual sin of Sodom probably had something to do with selfishness (they lived in a very fertile place, and had plenty, but discouraged visitors -- perhaps potential settlers -- with a pretty extreme terror tactic, i.e. threatened homosexual rape, which has gotten confused with the underlying motives). So yes, Bob, who sounds public-spirited and generous as well as polite, would count as pretty much the antithesis of the sodomites.

      Jeremiah (5) is told to look for "one person who acts justly and seeks truth" in Jerusalem, in order to save the city, but fails to find that person either among the poor or the rich.

      And of course Diogenes goes looking for one honest man, and fails. Unlike Diogenes (and Jeremiah), Suzy didn't go looking, but found one anyway. Maybe universities aren't such bad places to hang out after all.

  3. It is so true that taking time, talking with, helping, and thinking about the great students really get you through the stress. Or they can, if you can force your mind away from the stress caused by snowflakes and just concentrate on the great ones. I have some great students every semester, some inspiring students, some kind, caring, hard working students. Every semester. I don't know why it is so hard for me focus on THEM.

    1. Because the nails that stick up need to be hammered back down.


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