Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Great Moments in Slightly Higher Education

So, I teach this night class at the local CC and my students have this final paper due, which is supposed to be an argumentation piece and I have each student discuss their proposal in class tonight. One of the real treats of the evening is where I espouse like an expert on each of my students' topics.

One nice lady told the class that she was going to write about women in leadership. I couldn't figure out what her real point was and after commenting on that, I smiled and looked musingly up at the ceiling and said "Hmmmm, I wonder if I will ever see a female president--imagine, President Hillary Clinton."

At which point this one young lady, clearly upset, shot back, "Not no Hillary Friggin' Clinton--what about Condoleeza Rice!"

"That girl's got it going on," she said.

I had espoused significantly already for the night. As professor, I try not to dominate with my opinions because the class is really about helping students express their opinions. That, and I knew this young lady's husband had served in Iraq and might be going back.

So, I straddled the fence of forcing this woman to explain what Condi-I'm-too-Busy-Buying-Shoes-to-even-pretend-that-I-Care Rice has done for this country (really, what has she been successful at, folk?) or be silent and let other folk chime in. I decided to be silent.

Maybe I was wrong. But, were I the student and had my professor been neo-con, I wouldn't want him using up class time to promote his views. The classroom should be a place for the students to discuss and develop their ideas.

2 comments:

Donita said...

So, did the others chime in or did they just quietly squirm in their seats? Was this student able to back up her opinion with facts?

You did the right thing. When someone has a family member going to Iraq it's good to cut them some slack, even when they're wrong.

vivage said...

You were right on the money.