Sunday, January 24, 2010

More joys of teaching.....

Very early Friday morning I left my home here and drove to Woburn, MA to meet my friend and former student Jim Howland '88 who was defending his doctoral dissertation at Boston University. I have been a member of his Ed.D. Committee for the past two years and it was very rewarding to be a part of his defense. He passed with revisions which is the normal path and will complete everything and graduate in May. As a full-time husband, father and the Social Worker at the only school in MA for kids in recovery, he has worked really hard to complete his degree - I was rather proud of him as I have been of other former students who have continued on with post-SMC graduate degrees. I have mentioned in my blog that preparing and submitting letters of recommendation take up a good deal of any faculty members time BUT it is also something I enjoy doing. When I got home from Boston I received a call from Jason Fuchs, a current senior psychology major who told me that he has received his first graduate school acceptance. He is the first of this year's seniors whom I have heard has been accepted - the next few weeks will bring many more and I did three recommendations this morning so the process continues.

Classes this past week were excellent and I continue to be impressed with the quality of my students. Tomorrow's Men & Masculinities class will bring Dr. Frank Landry back to talk with my students about men's health issues. Frank is an alum of SMC and this will be his 10th year as a volunteer speaker in my class. Because I don't believe in teaching in isolation he will not only address men's issues but he will also address women's issues - this is always a fascinating class and I advise my students NOT to miss this one - it may save their lives someday. He doesn't pull any punches and answers every question in an honest and direct manner. Students always tell me how much they appreciate his discussion and HE is always amazed at the energy and honesty of my students.

I have heard from a couple of you who read my blog (thanks) and appreciate knowing that someone IS out there "listening" to the blog. I have had people express their appreciation for my asking for thoughts and prayers for the members of our Armed Forces - I will continue to do that simply because it is the right thing to do. This past Tuesday our Student Association had a good discussion during Open Forum about how we could help out in the crisis in Haiti. Since we have colleagues and students who have been very personally impacted by the recent earthquakes it was good to hear how concerned our student leaders are about trying to make a difference. David Hiltz is our SA President this year and he referred to Dr. Jack Neuhauser's letter to the community about how SMC can help in Haiti in the short term AND in the long term - I posted Jack's message in my last blog. David asked everyone to think about both avenues of assistance - now and for their future. SMC students and faculty/staff have traveled to Haiti in the past doing volunteer work and I know that they will continue to do this - doing things simply because they ARE the right thing to do is just one of the many joys of working here.

please take care, be well and, as always please keep the members of our military in your thoughts and prayers as well as those impacted by the tragedy in Haiti.


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