Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
There was a line of students to see me after my “Reading, Writing & Inquiry” class had ended. I had been commending the class’s written assignments and half a dozen college students wanted further comment on their work. The group had been given an assignment to discuss their favorite book, writing, or activity. One young man had contributed a tremendous piece on race car design. Showering encouragement on his work, I suggested that his input demonstrated a care for human life. Some students wrote about overcoming trauma. Others wrote about their deepest care for others.
One young woman wanted a bit more of my time. She asked to see me after class. We found a table outside the classroom.
Sitting across from me, she gushed, “I just have so many ideas for the next assignment, I just don’t know which one to pick! Would you help me?!”
I smiled, responding, “Your writing today was tremendous! Why don’t you unpack some of the other thoughts you have?”
The ideas tumbled out of her. One after another, her excitement barely contained, the swell of her voiced inspirations filled the hallway where we met.
Star Wars was one area of exploration, a statement she had punctuated by wearing a Luke Skywalker shirt to class. I shared her enthusiasm at every turn. “You sound like me,” I responded at one point. “Having too many ideas can be both exhilarating and frustrating.” She agreed, still bubbling with anticipation of what she would write.
Then she asked me a question for which I was unprepared.
“Why do you care so much?”
Surprised by the query, I asked, “Care about what?”
She pointed at herself, “You know, care about students and what we think.”
I smiled (again, through my mask), saying, “Oh! My answer is always the same: you are the next generation. You will make a difference in the world. My care for you all as students is to serve the future.”
Then, I took my answer a bit further, “I really like college students.”
“You do?!” She was incredulous.
“Yes! That’s why I like to teach at the university. My job is to inspire you, to encourage your participation in the world.”
We continued our conversation on the short walk down the hallway until we parted ways.
“Thank you for your time professor,” she had begun to make her turn. “I’m glad I’m in your class!”
[A snapshot of one class, one student, one conversation in my teaching life from yesterday.]
Picture credit: unsplash.com/@sincerelymedia]Published in