Today, I started another public speaking course. I’m quite adept at reading student faces on the first day. For all of those students, past and present, who find no reason to take communication courses, let alone majoring in communication, consider the following. And consider it again when you don’t believe it.
It’s been far too long since I’ve found some ‘motivation.’ Continue to keep it together. It’s so much better than not keeping it together.
This is such vital advice for an unencumbered life. So many of us are “right” fighters– we just want to be right, no matter how we hurt someone else or how we might come out looking in a situation. No bueno.
There is so much to say, but alternative facts are never the answer.
It’s the first day of classes and this seems appropriate. The first part of succeeding is showing up… messy hair and all.
It’s not the holiday season I’m referring to. No, I’m referring to the season of student inquiries, lack of preparation, general disrespect, and teacher/professor burnout.
I give you “Did I Miss Anything?” by Tom Wayman.
Did I Miss Anything?
Nothing. When we realized you weren’t here
we sat with our hands folded on our desks
in silence, for the full two hours
Everything. I gave an exam worth
40 percent of the grade for this term
and assigned some reading due today
on which I’m about to hand out a quiz
worth 50 percent
Nothing. None of the content of this course
has value or meaning
Take as many days off as you like:
any activities we undertake as a class
I assure you will not matter either to you or me
and are without purpose
Everything. A few minutes after we began last time
a shaft of light suddenly descended and an angel
or other heavenly being appeared
and revealed to us what each woman or man must do
to attain divine wisdom in this life and
This is the last time the class will meet
before we disperse to bring the good news to all people on earth.
Nothing. When you are not present
how could something significant occur?
Everything. Contained in this classroom
is a microcosm of human experience
assembled for you to query and examine and ponder
This is not the only place such an opportunity has been gathered
but it was one place
And you weren’t here
Consider visiting “Poetry 180 / A Poem a Day for American High SchoolsHosted by Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2001-2003”, if you’re not too busy reading the syllabus two days before finals week.