“It’s More Than a Living”

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At Center of Gravitas, GayProf has a post up about why he likes teaching history. A recent reminder at another blog about how lucky we law profs are made me especially happy to read it. Below is a short excerpt that made me laugh:

5. I get to provide students with numerous anecdotes for their future cocktail parties. As I mentioned in number one, people are usually interested in the past (even if they are scarred off from the actual discipline). Interesting vignettes from history make excellent small talk for parties. Taking my class with undoubtedly improve students’ future social standing.

Did you know, for instance, that the nineteenth-century inventor of the Graham Cracker, Sylvester Graham, was obsessed with ending masturbation in young boys? Graham believed that one’s carnal desires were directly related to the food one consumed. Indeed, his cracker was imagined as part of a homeopathic system to”cure”all sorts of sexual vice. Think of that next time you make s’mores.

I love teaching too. As grumpy as I sometimes get about under-prepared or over-entitled students, most of mine are great, at least most of the time, and having them in my classroom is an honor and a pleasure. I’m bookmarking this post so I remember to go back and re-read it the next time I start to lose perspective over some minor annoyance.

–Ann Bartow

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