Copyright © Louis Schmier and Atwood Publishing.

Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2001 10:15:33 -0500 (EST)
Random Thought: I Am On A High

Wow! Did I just float into my office on a high. I am so excited I can hardly control my fingers. It just happened unexpectedly not ten minutes ago.

I was nonchalantly walking down the hall sipping a cup of coffee I had just filled at the office of the Dean of A & S and munching on a delicious apple whatever that the secretary had baked and brought in. I was I nervously thinking about a workshop on teaching I'm offering tomorrow at UGA's School of Agriculture. Then, I noticed a student sitting quietly on a bench, who had been in one of my classes and whom I hadn't seen in a long while. As I passed, I asked, "Hey, how have you been?"

"Fine," he quietly answered.

I walked on for a few steps and then stopped. Realizing that I barely recognized him, I turned and said, "You look different."

He smiled. "I shaved my beard."

"No, it's something more."

Then, he hit me with it. "I'm smiling now. Thanks to you I'm high on life and not on drugs."

I was stunned for a second or two as if I had been touched by an angel. I extended my hand, then slowly walked back those few steps, grabbed his hand with both of mine, shook it firmly, and said a soft, sincere, celebrating "Congratulations."

As I turned and bounced off, he was smiling. So was I, and my eyes were a bit glassy as I took a very deep breath.

I honestly don't know what it was that I did that he credits me with after all this time. I do know this. Memorable teaching is as much, if not more, of a personal thing as it is an information or technique thing, and we do students an injustice if we reduce the complexity of their humanity and character to a grade or test score.

Bring on that workshop!!

         Make it a good day.


         Louis Schmier      
         Department of History
         Valdosta State University
         Valdosta, GA  31698                 /~\        /\ /\
         912-333-5947              /^\      /     \    /  /~\  \   /~\__/\
                                 /     \__/         \/  /  /\ /~\/         \
                          /\/\-/ /^\_____\____________/__/_______/^\
                        -_~    /  "If you want to climb mountains,   \ /^\
                         _ _ /      don't practice on mole hills" -    \____

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