December 8, 2011, 11:48 am
Sometimes, I get frustrated with my students. Just the other day I was talking to one of them about his career. He told me that he wants to make a difference. He wants to help underprivileged youth. Yet in the same breath, he told me that he had to make a lot of money and pretty quickly. He told me he wanted to have a big house, a new car, and to live the ‘champagne life’ soon. Upon graduation, he secured a job working with college students in a somewhat haphazard but wholly innovative environment. His job came with a wonderful role model, a good salary, and the opportunity to shape an institution in rich and meaningful ways. Before he took the position, I advised him to make the most of the experience and to learn everything he could from the leader of the institution. Unfortunately, my student did not take my advice. Instead, he has become bitter because he has to work…
January 11, 2011, 3:26 pm
College professors are often accused of inculcating young people with liberal values. Although I don’t think it is right to jam your political views down a student’s throat, I do think it is a good idea to teach understanding and tolerance. I want my students to recognize that they can vehemently disagree with one another on issues but that they don’t have to do so with anger and hate.
Over the years, I’ve stood up for all kinds of students in my classes: the woman who liked Sarah Palin as a vice-presidential candidate, the man who disagreed with homosexuality on religious grounds, the student who was an evangelical Christian and didn’t feel free to express her views to her peers, the student who had his sexuality “outed” by another, the Asian student who was ignored by the other students when she talked, and many others. My courses are filled with a diverse group of…