Thursday, April 12, 2007

When students are unhappy

I consider myself a generally happy person. Maybe that's why I can't stand it when my students aren't. A post like this prompts an immediate invitation to visit my office, and an e-mail from another grad student, clearly having emotional problems, elicits a recommendation to consult the university's mental health clinic, contact information included (I know my limitations; counseling is one of them).

I often hear PR professionals say they'd like to retire and teach one day. I imagine them picturing themselves strolling across a leafy green campus while students read thick treatises on Shakespeare while sprawled on the lawn and debate the French revolution in the nearby coffeehouse. Sometimes that happens. But there's a lot more to it than that.

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"More important than the curriculum is the question of the methods of teaching and the spirit in which the teaching is given" --Bertrand Russell

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