Copyright © Louis Schmier and Atwood Publishing.

Date: Thu 9/23/2004 4:02 AM
Random Thought: More On My Wall

Boy, am I getting nailed from all corners with accusation of being a self-serving, egotistical, and self-centered braggart. I'm beginning to feel like a dart board in a pub tournament. Well, here is my answer, knowing that more pins will be stuck in the doll.

When it comes to teaching, I have a few questions for a lot of my colleagues in academe. Why do we closet ourselves? Why do all too many of us shyly crack the door and fearfully peek out, afraid of making a creak and bringing attention to ourselves? Why are so many silent about speaking out? Why is our humility so often so self-effacing? Why do only a very few show their good works and show-case the life-altering value and power of a caring teacher for all to see? Why do we feel it necessary to keep it a deep, dark secret. Why don't we talk out loud in public about how fulfilling teaching can be? Why are we afraid to celebrate our achievements and demonstrate that we each CAN change the future? Why are so many of us so self-conscious about "witness" what my dear friend, Margo Scheelar, rightly calls an "awe-filled profession?" What is wrong with proclaiming the living power of being a torchbearer who can show others that they, too, as Margo says, can "push away the darkness?" With all the reality shows showing off all sorts of things, why can't we have our own reality show and show off the impact of something honorable, moral, ethical, important, caring, hopeful, faithful, and kind? So what if some gets upset or judgmental. Is it so wrong to be an encouraging, guiding, purposeful light?

Tell me, why is it that so many of us academics demonstrate a pride when it comes to scholarly accomplishments and an embarrassment when it comes to teaching accomplishments? Why do so many of us go to such great lengths to look and be important when it comes to scholarship, to publicly celebrate and display our research and publications, to display our recognitions and rewards for all to see, and damn anyone who openly does likewise when it comes to teaching? Tell me, in the academy, is there something scholarly and professional and acceptable about scholarship and something distinctly unscholarly and "non-professional" and insignificant about teaching?

         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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