A reply to Louis

If you haven’t read Louis post for today, you really should – there’s a link to the right for his blog which is 1000 times better than anything I can write.  His post is about a professor that writes in to criticize Louis for spending too much time talking about the average student.  “Why”, he says, “do you tell such stories about ordinary, average, and at times distasteful students?”.  Louis has a great explanation but in my opinion it is simply the “me-complex”.  We tend to like people that are just like us and in order to make it as an English Prof I bet he was a pretty decent undergrad student … unlike me.  I was pretty much a screw-up as an undergrad.  Too many other things to do, not sure what I was doing at university.  I was definitely NOT grad-student quality during my undergrad.  So when I hear stories about students struggling with motivation, students that are too busy to study, or students that are unsure of their career path I can honestly say that I understand.  What’s my proof?  How about the “dean’s vacation” letter I received in 2nd year?  That’s usually enough proof for students.  Clearly we don’t need 6 billion people like me (one is enough), we also don’t need 6 billion english-prof-wannabes.  Thank goodness we’re all unique, that’s what makes life interesting.  So, to the perfect professors out there that never stumbled, start looking for the one great thing about each individual.  You may have trouble spotting it since it is so different than your thing, but keep looking  – it’s there.  It needs to be found, encouraged, and emphasized.  Who knows, maybe that slacker at the back of the class may turn out to be the next famous English prof!