Sunday, February 3, 2013

Disappointments and Satisfactions

By Dan Hagen
This arrived from a former student: “Today I had the opportunity to present on sports journalism for print and broadcast for the southwest suburban conference journalism workshop hosted by my high school, and I got so much positive feedback from the students afterward that I educated and inspired them. Now I know what it's like to be you for a day.”
Painting by Charmain P Jackson
After seven years teaching journalism full-time at a state university, I’ve learned that the university — in the corporate-poisoned 21st century — is not a last bastion of human civilization, as I had hoped, but often just a place where careerists career. Given absolute freedom to defend what’s most important, the people at universities instead may find it easier to play at pompous shams and petty political ploys.
Nevertheless, there’s nothing in all that to stop me from doing the job I think is entailed in the term “professor,” and reaping rewards like that note I just quoted. Universities may only pay lip service to excellent teaching, but at least they still permit it when it happens. And there’s a lot to like within that latitude.

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