Friday, September 13, 2013

Thank you

It's been a good week, and as the week winds down I want to pause, to reflect gratefully.

Thank you, Irene and Iphigenia, the Honors students who volunteered to person the registration table for today's Teaching About India conference, held all day in the Laurel Forum, just next door to my office.

Thank you, Oswaldo, Frederica, Kent, and all my other Linear I students who grapple tirelessly with the crazy conceptual problems I pose them with week after week, patiently accepting my feedback on their imperfect algebra and rambling grammar as they labor to ensure that each draft is better than the last.

Thank you, Lula, my 479 student who spent several minutes this morning talking with me about the problematic nature of the Honors Program: how do we countenance such expenditure of financial and human resources on students who, honestly, don't need the extra assistance to excel while many more of their peers could use all the academic help they can get just to pass? The program is a walking, talking equity issue, a logical extension of the same K-12 "tracking" systems my 479 students just yesterday derided as iniquitous and unfair.

How do I sleep at night? I overcame white guilt years ago; I think I'm still working through my issues with other forms of power and privilege.

Last, but certainly not least, thank you to Queshia, my wise and warm and indefatigable program assistant. Her able handling of administrative nonsense, her unending supply of good ideas, and her tactful dealings with students expressing every need imaginable all make my job a helluva lot easier. I can't imagine a better right-hand person.

Now. Let's make next week a good one too, huh?

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