We Must Teach Students to Fail Well

A poster titled "Freshman Counseling" hangs on the wall in the least conspicuous corner of my office. I inherited it from my predecessor as she gleefully departed. The image, in dungeon-and-dragon style, is daunting.

A tall guard, perhaps the executioner himself, stands masked and towering above a meek first-year student. The guard holds the end of a long chain around the student's neck; on the other side of the desk sits the homely and obese dean in hooded medieval garb, hunched